Category Archives: Buddha

Antiquity of Pagan Religions

We shall now compare the great antiquity of the sacred books and religions of Paganism with those of the Christian, so that there may be no doubt as to which is the original, and which the copy. Allusions to this subject have already been made throughout this work, we shall therefore devote as little space to it here as possible.

In speaking of the sacred literature of India, Prof. Monier Williams says:
“Sanskrit literature, embracing as it does nearly every branch of knowledge is entirely deficient in one department. It is wholly destitute of trustworthy historical records. Hence, little or nothing is known of the lives of ancient Indian authors, and the dates of their most celebrated works cannot be fixed with certainty. A fair conjecture, however, may be arrived at by comparing the most ancient with the more modern compositions, and estimating the period of time required to effect the changes of structure and idiom observable in the language. In this manner we may be justified in assuming that the hymns of the Veda were probably composed by a succession of poets at different dates between 1500 and 1000 years B. C.”[450:1]
Prof. Wm. D. Whitney shows the great antiquity of the Vedic hymns from the fact that,
“The language of the Vedas is an older dialect, varying very considerably, both in its grammatical and lexical character, from the classical Sanscrit.”
And M. de Coulanges, in his “Ancient City,” says:
“We learn from the hymns of the Vedas, which are certainly very ancient, and from the laws of Manu,” “what the Aryans of the east thought nearly thirty-five centuries ago.”[450:2]
That the Vedas are of very high antiquity is unquestionable; but however remote we may place the period when they were written, we must necessarily presuppose that the Hindostanic race had already attained to a comparatively high degree of civilization, otherwise men capable of framing such doctrines could not have been found. Now this state of civilization must necessarily have been preceded by several centuries of barbarism, during which we cannot possibly admit a more refined faith than the popular belief in elementary deities.
We shall see in our next chapter that these very ancient Vedic hymns contain the origin of the legend of the Virgin-born God and Saviour, the great benefactor of mankind, who is finally put to death, and rises again to life and immortality on the third day.
The Geetas and Puranas, although of a comparatively modern date, are, as we have already seen, nevertheless composed of matter to be found in the two great epic poems, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, which were written many centuries before the time assigned as that of the birth of Christ Jesus.[451:1]
The Pali sacred books, which contain the legend of the virgin-born God and Saviour—Sommona Cadom—are known to have been in existence 316 B. C.[451:2]
We have already seen that the religion known as Buddhism, and which corresponds in such a striking manner with Christianity, has now existed for upwards of twenty-four hundred years.[451:3]
Prof. Rhys Davids says:
“There is every reason to believe that the Pitakas (the sacred books which contain the legend of ‘The Buddha’), now extant in Ceylon, are substantially identical with the books of the Southern Canon, as settled at the Council of Patna about the year 250 B. C.[451:4] As no works would have been received into the Canon which were not then believed to be very old, the Pitakas may be approximately placed in the fourth century B. C., and parts of them possibly reach back very nearly, if not quite, to the time of Gautama himself.”[451:5]
The religion of the ancient Persians, which corresponds in so very many respects with that of the Christians, was established by Zoroaster—who was undoubtedly a Brahman[451:6]—and is contained in the Zend-Avesta, their sacred book or Bible. This book is very ancient. Prof. Max Müller speaks of “the sacred book of the Zoroastrians” as being “older in its language than the cuneiform inscriptions of Cyrus (B. C. 560), Darius (B. C. 520), and Xerxes (B. C.485) those ancient Kings of Persia, who knew that they were kings by the grace of Auramazda, and who placed his sacred image high on the mountain-records of Behistun.”[452:1] That ancient book, or its fragments, at least, have survived many dynasties and kingdoms, and is still believed in by a small remnant of the Persian race, now settled at Bombay, and known all over the world by the name of Parsees.[452:2]
“The Babylonian and Phenician sacred books date back to a fabulous antiquity;”[452:3] and so do the sacred books and religion of Egypt.
Prof. Mahaffy, in his “Prolegomena to Ancient History,” says:
“There is indeed hardly a great and fruitful idea in the Jewish or Christian systems which has not its analogy in the Egyptian faith, andall these theological conceptions pervade the oldest religion of Egypt.”[452:4]
The worship of Osiris, the Lord and Saviour, must have been of extremely ancient date, for he is represented as “Judge of the Dead,” in sculptures contemporary with the building of the Pyramids, centuries before Abraham is said to have been born. Among the many hieroglyphic titles which accompany his figure in those sculptures, and in many other places on the walls of temples and tombs, are, “Lord of Life,” “The Eternal Ruler,” “Manifester of Good,” “Revealer of Truth,” “Full of Goodness and Truth,” etc.
In speaking of the “Myth of Osiris,” Mr. Bonwick says:
“This great mystery of the Egyptians demands serious consideration. Its antiquity—its universal hold upon the people for over five thousand years—its identification with the very life of the nation—and its marvellous likeness to the creed of modern date, unite in exciting the greatest interest.”[452:5]
This myth, and that of Isis and Horus, were known before the Pyramid time.[453:1]
The worship of the Virgin Mother in Egypt—from which country it was imported into Europe[453:2]—dates back thousands of years B. C. Mr. Bonwick says:
“In all probability she was worshiped three thousand years before Moses wrote. ‘Isis nursing her child Horus, was represented,’ says Mariette Bey, ‘at least six thousand years ago.’ We read the name of Isis on monuments of the fourth dynasty, and she lost none of her popularity to the close of the empire.”
“The Egyptian Bible is by far the most ancient of all holy books.” “Plato was told that Egypt possessed hymns dating back ten thousand years before his time.”[453:3]
Bunsen says:
“The origin of the ancient prayers and hymns of the ‘Book of the Dead,’ is anterior to Menes; it implies that the system of Osirian worship and mythology was already formed.”[453:4]
And, says Mr. Bonwick:
“Besides opinions, we have facts as a basis for arriving at a conclusion, and justifying the assertion of Dr. Birch, that the work dated from a period long anterior to the rise of Ammon worship at Thebes.”[453:5]
Now, “this most ancient of all holy books,” establishes the fact that a virgin-born and resurrected Saviour was worshiped in Egypt thousands of year before the time of Christ Jesus.
P. Le Page Renouf says:
“The earliest monuments which have been discovered present to us the very same fully-developed civilization and the same religionas the later monuments. . . . The gods whose names appear in the oldest tombs were worshiped down to the Christian times. The same kind of priesthoods which are mentioned in the tablets of Canopus and Rosetta in the Ptolemaic period are as ancient as the pyramids, and more ancient than any pyramid of which we know the date.”[453:6]
In regard to the doctrine of the Trinity. We have just seen that “the development of the One God into a Trinity” pervades the oldest religion of Egypt, and the same may be said of India. Prof. Monier Williams, speaking on this subject, says:
“It should be observed that the native commentaries on the Veda often allude to thirty-three gods, which number is also mentioned in the Rig-Veda. This is a multiple of three, which is a sacred number constantly appearing in the Hindu religious system. It is probable, indeed, that although the Tri-murti is not named in the Vedic hymns,[454:1] yet the Veda is the real source of this Triad of personifications, afterwards so conspicuous in Hindu mythology. This much, at least, is clear, that the Vedic poets exhibited a tendency to group all the forces and energies of nature under three heads, and the assertion that the number of the gods was thirty-three, amounted to saying that each of the three leading personifications was capable of eleven modifications.”[454:2]
The great antiquity of the legends referred to in this work is demonstrated in the fact that they were found in a great measure on the continent of America, by the first Europeans who set foot on its soil. Now, how did they get there? Mr. Lundy, in his “Monumental Christianity,” speaking on this subject, says:
“So great was the resemblance between the two sacraments of the Christian Church (viz., that of Baptism and the Eucharist) and those of the ancient Mexicans; so many other points of similarity, also, in doctrine existed, as to the unity of God, the Triad, the Creation, the Incarnation and Sacrifice, the Resurrection, etc., that Herman Witsius, no mean scholar and thinker, was induced to believe that Christianity had been preached on this continent by some one of the apostles, perhaps St. Thomas, from the fact that he is reported to have carried the Gospel to India and Tartary, whence he came to America.”[454:3]
Some writers, who do not think that St. Thomas could have gotten to America, believe that St. Patrick, or some other saint, must have, in some unaccountable manner, reached the shores of the Western continent, and preached their doctrine there.[454:4] Others have advocated the devil theory, which is, that the devil, being jealous of the worship of Christ Jesus, set up a religion of his own, and imitated, nearly as possible, the religion of Christ. All of these theories being untenable, we must, in the words of Burnouf, the eminent French Orientalist, “learn one day that all ancient traditions disfigured by emigration and legend,belong to the history of India.”
That America was inhabited by Asiatic emigrants, and that the American legends are of Asiatic origin, we believe to be indisputable. There is an abundance of proof to this effect.[454:5]
In contrast to the great antiquity of the sacred books and religions of Paganism, we have the facts that the Gospels were not written by the persons whose names they bear, that they were written many years after the time these men are said to have lived, and that they are full of interpolations and errors. The first that we know of the four gospels is at the time of Irenæus, who, in the second century, intimates that he had received four gospels, as authentic scriptures. This pious forger was probably the author of the fourth, as we shall presently see.
Besides these gospels there were many more which were subsequently deemed apocryphal; the narratives related in them of Christ Jesus and his apostles were stamped as forgeries.
“The Gospel according to Matthew” is believed by the majority of biblical scholars of the present day to be the oldest of the four, and to be made up principally of a pre-existing one, called “The Gospel of the Hebrews.” The principal difference in these two gospels being that “The Gospel of the Hebrews” commenced with giving the genealogy of Jesus from David, through Joseph “according to the flesh.” The story of Jesus being born of a virgin was not to be found there, it being an afterpiece, originating either with the writer of “The Gospel according to Matthew,” or some one after him, and was evidently taken from “The Gospel of the Egyptians.” “The Gospel of the Hebrews“—from which, we have said, the Matthew narrator copied—was an intensely Jewish gospel, and was to be found—in one of its forms—among the Ebionites, who were the narrowest Jewish Christians of the second century. “The Gospel according to Matthew” is, therefore, the most Jewish gospel of the four; in fact, the most Jewish book in the New Testament, excepting, perhaps, theApocalypse and the Epistle of James.
Some of the more conspicuous Jewish traits, to be found in this gospel, are as follows:
Jesus is sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The twelve are forbidden to go among the Gentiles or the Samaritans. They are to sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. The genealogy of Jesus is traced back to Abraham, and there stops.[455:1] The works of the law are frequently insisted on. There is a superstitious regard for the Sabbath, &c.
There is no evidence of the existence of the Gospel of Matthew,—in its present form—until the year 173, A. D. It is at this time, also, that it is first ascribed to Matthew, by Apollinaris, Bishop of Hierapolis. The original oracles of the Gospel of the Hebrews, however,—which were made use of by the author of our present Gospel of Matthew,—were written, likely enough, not long before the destruction of Jerusalem, but the Gospel itself dates from about A. D. 100.[456:1]
The Gospel according to Luke” is believed to come next—in chronological order—to that of Matthew, and to have been written some fifteen or twenty years after it. The author was a foreigner, as his writings plainly show that he was far removed from the events which he records.
In writing his Gospel, the author made use of that of Matthew, the Gospel of the Hebrews, and Marcion’s Gospel. He must have had, also, still other sources, as there are parables peculiar to it, which are not found in them. Among these may be mentioned that of the “Prodigal Son,” and the “Good Samaritan.” Other parables peculiar to it are that of the two debtors; the friend borrowing bread at night; the rich man’s barns; Dives and Lazarus; the lost piece of silver; the unjust steward; the Pharisee and the Publican.
Several miracles are also peculiar to the Luke narrator’s Gospel, the raising of the widow of Nain’s son being the most remarkable. Perhaps these stories were delivered to him orally, and perhaps he is the author of them,—we shall never know. The foundation of the legends, however, undoubtedly came from the “certain scriptures” of the Essenes in Egypt. The principal object which the writer of this gospel had in view was to reconcile Paulinism and the more Jewish forms of Christianity.[456:2]
The next in chronological order, according to the same school of critics, is “The Gospel according to Mark.” This gospel is supposed to have been written within ten years of the former, and its author, as of the other two gospels, is unknown. It was probably written at Rome, as the Latinisms of the author’s style, and the apparent motive of his work, strongly suggest that he was a Jewish citizen of the Eternal City. He made use of the Gospel of Matthew as his principal authority, and probably referred to that of Luke, as he has things in common with Luke only.
The object which the writer had in view, was to have a neutral go-between, a compromise between Matthew as too Petrine (Jewish), and Luke as too Pauline (Gentile). The different aspects of Matthew and Luke were found to be confusing to believers, and provocative of hostile criticism from without; hence the idea of writing a shorter gospel, that should combine the most essential elements of both. Luke was itself a compromise between the opposing Jewish and universal tendencies of early Christianity, but Mark endeavors by avoidance and omission to effect what Luke did more by addition and contrast. Luke proposed to himself to open a door for the admission of Pauline ideas without offending Gentile Christianity; Mark, on the contrary, in a negative spirit, to publish a Gospel which should not hurt the feelings of either party. Hence his avoidance of all those disputed questions which disturbed the church during the first quarter of the second century. The genealogy of Jesus is omitted; this being offensive to Gentile Christians, and even to some of the more liberal Judaizers. The supernatural birth of Jesus is omitted, this being offensive to the Ebonitish (extreme Jewish) and some of the Gnostic Christians. For every Judaizing feature that is sacrificed, a universal one is also sacrificed. Hard words against the Jews are left out, but with equal care, hard words about the Gentiles.[457:1]
We now come to the fourth, and last gospel, that “according to John,” which was not written until many years after that “according to Matthew.”
“It is impossible to pass from the Synoptic[457:2] Gospels,” says Canon Westcott, “to the fourth, without feeling that the transition involves the passage from one world of thought to another. No familiarity with the general teachings of the Gospels, no wide conception of the character of the Saviour, is sufficient to destroy the contrast which exists in form and spirit between the earlier and later narratives.”
The discrepancies between the fourth and the Synoptic Gospels are numerous. If Jesus was the man of Matthew’s Gospel, he was not the mysterious beingof the fourth. If his ministry was only one year long, it was not three. If he made but one journey to Jerusalem, he did not make many. If his method of teaching was that of the Synoptics, it was not that of the fourth Gospel. If he was the Jew of Matthew, he was not the Anti-Jew of John.[457:3]
Everywhere in John we come upon a more developed stage of Christianity than in the Synoptics. The scene, the atmosphere, is different. In the Synoptics Judaism, the Temple, the Law and the Messianic Kingdom are omnipresent. In John they are remote and vague. In Matthew Jesus is always yearning for his own nation. In John he has no other sentiment for it than hate and scorn. In Matthew the sanction of the Prophets is his great credential. In John his dignity can tolerate no previous approximation.
“Do we ask,” says Francis Tiffany, “who wrote this wondrous Gospel? Mysterious its origin, as that wind of which its author speaks, which bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof and canst not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth. As with the Great Unknown of the book of Job, the Great Unknown of the later Isaiah, the ages keep his secret. The first absolutely indisputable evidence of the existence of the book dates from the latter half of the second century.
The first that we know of the fourth Gospel, for certainty, is at the time of Irenæus (A. D. 179).[458:1] We look in vain for an express recognition of the fourcanonical Gospels, or for a distinct mention of any one of them, in the writings of St. Clement (A. D. 96), St. Ignatius (A. D. 107), St. Justin (A. D. 140), or St. Polycarp (A. D. 108). All we can find is incidents from the life of Jesus, sayings, etc.
That Irenæus is the author of it is very evident. This learned and pious forger says:
“John, the disciple of the Lord, wrote his Gospel to confute the doctrine lately taught by Cerinthus, and a great while before by those called Nicolaitans, a branch of the Gnostics; and to show that there is one God who made all things by his WORD: and not, as they say, that there is one the Creator, and another the Father of our Lord: and one the Son of the Creator, and another, even the Christ, who descended from above upon the Son of the Creator, and continued impassible, and at length returned to his pleroma or fulness.”[458:2]
The idea of God having inspired four different men to write a history of the same transactions,—or rather, of many different men having undertaken to write such a history, of whom God inspired four only to write correctly, leaving the others to their own unaided resources, and giving us no test by which to distinguish the inspired from the uninspired—certainly appears self-confuting, and anything but natural.
The reasons assigned by Irenæus for there being four Gospels are as follows:
“It is impossible that there could be more or less than four. For there are four climates, and four cardinal winds; but the Gospel is the pillar and foundation of the church, and its breath of life. The church therefore was to have four pillars, blowing immortality from every quarter, and giving life to man.[459:1]
It was by this Irenæus, with the assistance of Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian, one of the Latin Fathers, that the four Gospels were introduced intogeneral use among the Christians.
In these four spurious Gospels, and in some which are considered Apocryphal—because the bishops at the Council of Laodicea (A. D. 365) rejected them—we have the only history of Jesus of Nazareth. Now, if all accounts or narratives of Christ Jesus and his Apostles were forgeries, as it is admitted that all theApocryphal ones were, what can the superior character of the received Gospels prove for them, but that they are merely superiorly executed forgeries? The existence of Jesus is implied in the New Testament outside of the Gospels, but hardly an incident of his life is mentioned, hardly a sentence that he spoke has been preserved. Paul, writing from twenty to thirty years after his death, has but a single reference to anything he ever said or did.
Beside these four Gospels there were, as we said above, many others, for, in the words of Mosheim, the ecclesiastical historian:
“Not long after Christ’s ascension into heaven, several histories of his life and doctrines, full of pious frauds and fabulous wonders, were composed by persons whose intentions, perhaps, were not bad, but whose writings discovered the greatest superstition and ignorance. Nor was this all; productions appeared, which were imposed upon the world by fraudulent men, as the writings of the holy apostles.”[459:2]
Dr. Conyers Middleton, speaking on this subject, says:
“There never was any period of time in all ecclesiastical history, in which so many rank heresies were publicly professed, nor in which so many spurious books were forged and published by the Christians, under the names of Christ, and the Apostles, and the Apostolic writers, as in those primitive ages. Several of these forged books are frequently cited and applied to the defense of Christianity, by the most eminent fathers of the same ages, as true and genuine pieces.[459:3]
Archbishop Wake also admits that:
“It would be useless to insist on all the spurious pieces which were attributed to St. Paul alone, in the primitive ages of Christianity.”[460:1]
Some of the “spurious pieces which were attributed to St. Paul,” may be found to-day in our canonical New Testament, and are believed by many to be the word of God.[460:2]
The learned Bishop Faustus, in speaking of the authenticity of the New Testament, says:
“It is certain that the New Testament was not written by Christ himself, nor by his apostles, but a long while after them, by some unknown persons, who, lest they should not be credited when they wrote of affairs they were little acquainted with, affixed to their works the names of the apostles, or of such as were supposed to have been their companions, asserting that what they had written themselves, was written according to these persons to whom they ascribed it.”[460:3]
Again he says:
“Many things have been inserted by our ancestors in the speeches of our Lord, which, though put forth under his name, agree not with his faith; especially since—as already it has been often proved—these things were not written by Christ, nor his apostles, but a long while after their assumption, by I know not what sort of half Jews, not even agreeing with themselves, who made up their tale out of reports and opinions merely, and yet, fathering the whole upon the names of the apostles of the Lord, or on those who were supposed to follow the apostles, they mendaciously pretended that they had written their lies and conceits according to them.”[460:4]
What had been said to have been done in India, was said by these “half-Jews” to have been done in Palestine; the change of names and places, with the mixing up of various sketches of the Egyptian, Persian, Phenician, Greek and Roman mythology, was all that was necessary. They had an abundance of material, and with it they built. The foundation upon which they built was undoubtedly the “Scriptures,” or Diegesis, of the Essenes in Alexandria in Egypt, which fact led Eusebius, the ecclesiastical historian—”without whom,” says Tillemont, “we should scarce have had any knowledge of the history of the first ages of Christianity, or of the authors who wrote in that time”—to say that the sacred writings used by this sect were none other than “Our Gospels.”
We offer below a few of the many proofs showing the Gospels to have been written a long time after the events narrated are said to have occurred, and by persons unacquainted with the country of which they wrote.
“He (Jesus) came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis,” is an assertion made by the Mark narrator (vii. 31), when there were no coasts of Decapolis, nor was the name so much as known before the reign of the emperor Nero.
Again, “He (Jesus) departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea, beyond Jordan,” is an assertion made by the Matthew narrator (xix. 1), when the Jordan itself was the eastern boundary of Judea, and there were no coasts of Judea beyond it.
Again, “But when he (Joseph) heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea, in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither, notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee, and he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the prophets, he shall be called a Nazarene,” is another assertion made by the Matthew narrator (ii. 22, 23), when—1. It was a son of Herod who reigned in Galilee as well as Judea, so that he could not be more secure in one province than in the other; and when—2. It was impossible for him to have gone from Egypt to Nazareth, without traveling through the whole extent of Archelaus’s kingdom, or making a peregrination through the deserts on the north and east of the Lake Asphaltites, and the country of Moab; and then, either crossing the Jordan into Samaria or the Lake of Gennesareth into Galilee, and from thence going to the city of Nazareth, which is no better geography, than if one should describe a person as turning aside from Cheapside into the parts of Yorkshire; and when—3. There were no prophets whatever who had prophesied that Jesus “should be called a Nazarene.”
The Matthew narrator (iv. 13) states that “He departed into Galilee, and leaving Nazareth, came and dwelt in Capernaum,” as if he imagined that the city of Nazareth was not as properly in Galilee as Capernaum was; which is much such geographical accuracy, as if one should relate the travels of a hero, who departed into Middlesex, and leaving London, came and dwelt in Lombard street.[461:1]
There are many other falsehoods in gospel geography beside these, which, it is needless to mention, plainly show that the writers were not the persons they are generally supposed to be.
Of gospel statistics there are many falsehoods; among them may be mentioned the following:
“Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness,” is an assertion made by the Luke narrator (Luke iii. 2); when all Jews, or persons living among them, must have known that there never was but one high priest at a time, as with ourselves there is but one mayor of a city.
Again we read (John vii. 52), “Search (the Scriptures) and look, for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet,” when the most distinguished of the Jewish prophets—Nahum and Jonah—were both Galileans.
See reference in the Epistles to “Saints,” a religious order, owing its origin to the popes. Also, references to the distinct orders of “Bishops,” “Priests,” and “Deacons,” and calls to a monastic life; to fasting, etc., when, the titles of “Bishop,” “Priest,” and “Deacon” were given to the Essenes—whom Eusebius calls Christians—and, as is well known, monasteries were the abode of the Essenes or Therapeuts.
See the words for “legion,” “aprons,” “handkerchiefs,” “centurion,” etc., in the original, not being Greek, but Latin, written in Greek characters, a practice first to be found in the historian Herodian, in the third century.
In Matt. xvi. 18, and Matt. xviii. 17, the word “Church” is used, and its papistical and infallible authority referred to as then existing, which is known not to have existed till ages after. And the passage in Matt. xi. 12:—”From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence,” etc., could not have been written till a very late period.
Luke ii. 1, shows that the writer (whoever he may have been) lived long after the events related. His dates, about the fifteenth year of Tiberius, and the government of Cyrenius (the only indications of time in the New Testament), are manifestly false. The general ignorance of the four Evangelists, not merely of the geography and statistics of Judea, but even of its language,—their egregious blunders, which no writers who had lived in that age could be conceived of as making,—prove that they were not only no such persons as those who have been willing to be deceived have taken them to be, but that they were not Jews, had never been in Palestine, and neither lived at, or at anywhere near the times to which their narratives seem to refer. The ablest divines at the present day, of all denominations, have yielded as much as this.[463:1]
The Scriptures were in the hands of the clergy only, and they had every opportunity to insert whatsoever they pleased; thus we find them full of interpolations. Johann Solomo Semler, one of the most influential theologians of the eighteenth century, speaking of this, says:
“The Christian doctors never brought their sacred books before the common people; although people in general have been wont to think otherwise; during the first ages, they were in the hands of the clergy only.”[463:2]
Concerning the time when the canon of the New Testament was settled, Mosheim says:
“The opinions, or rather the conjectures, of the learned concerning the time when the books of the New Testament were collected into one volume; as also about the authors of that collection, are extremely different. This important question is attended with great and almost insuperable difficulties to us in these later times.”[463:3]
The Rev. B. F. Westcott says:
“It is impossible to point to any period as marking the date at which our present canon was determined. When it first appears, it is presented not as a novelty, but as an ancient tradition.”[463:4]
Dr. Lardner says:
“Even so late as the middle of the sixth century, the canon of the New Testament had not been settled by any authority that was decisive and universally acknowledged, but Christian people were at liberty to judge for themselves concerning the genuineness of writings proposed to them as apostolical, and to determine according to evidence.”[464:1]
The learned Michaelis says:
“No manuscript of the New Testament now extant is prior to the sixth century, and what is to be lamented, various readings which, as appears from the quotations of the Fathers, were in the text of the Greek Testament, are to be found in none of the manuscripts which are at present remaining.”[464:2]
And Bishop Marsh says:
“It is a certain fact, that several readings in our common printed text are nothing more than alterations made by Origen, whose authority was so great in the Christian Church (A. D. 230) that emendations which he proposed, though, as he himself acknowledged, they were supported by the evidence of no manuscript, were very generally received.”[464:3]
In his Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius gives us a list of what books at that time (A. D. 315) were considered canonical. They are as follows:
“The four-fold writings of the Evangelists,” “The Acts of the Apostles,” “The Epistles of Peter,” “after these the first of John, and that of Peter,” “All these are received for undoubted.” “The Revelation of St. John, some disavow.”
“The books which are gainsaid, though well known unto many, are these: the Epistle of James, the Epistle of Jude, the latter of Peter, the second and third of John, whether they were John the Evangelist, or some other of the same name.”[464:4]
Though Irenæus, in the second century, is the first who mentions the evangelists, and Origen, in the third century, is the first who gives us a catalogue of the books contained in the New Testament, Mosheim’s admission still stands before us. We have no grounds of assurance that the mere mention of the namesof the evangelists by Irenæus, or the arbitrary drawing up of a particular catalogue by Origen, were of any authority. It is still unknown by whom, or where, orwhen, the canon of the New Testament was settled. But in this absence of positive evidence we have abundance of negative proof. We know when it was notsettled. We know it was not settled in the time of the Emperor Justinian, nor in the time of Cassiodorus; that is, not at any time before the middle of the sixth century, “by any authority that was decisive and universally acknowledged; but Christian people were at liberty to judge for themselves concerning thegenuineness of writings proposed to them as apostolical.”
We cannot do better than close this chapter with the words of Prof. Max Müller, who, in speaking of Buddhism, says:
“We have in the history of Buddhism an excellent opportunity for watching the process by which a canon of sacred books is called into existence. We see here, as elsewhere, that during the life-time of the teacher, no record of events, no sacred code containing the sayings of the Master, was wanted. His presence was enough, and thoughts of the future, and more particularly, of future greatness, seldom entered the minds of those who followed him. It was only after Buddha had left the world to enter into Nirvâna, that his disciples attempted to recall the sayings and doings of their departed friend and master. At that time, everything that seemed to redound to the glory of Buddha, however extraordinary and incredible, was eagerly welcomed, while witnesses who would have ventured to criticise or reject unsupported statements, or to detract in any way from the holy character of Buddha, had no chance of ever being listened to. And when, in spite of all this, differences of opinion arose, they were not brought to the test by a careful weighing of evidence, but the names of ‘unbeliever‘ and ‘heretic‘ were quickly invented in India as elsewhere, and bandied backwards and forwards between contending parties, till at last, when the doctors disagreed, the help of the secular power had to be invoked, and kings and emperors assembled councils for the suppression of schism, for the settlement of an orthodox creed, and for the completion of a sacred canon.”[465:1]
That which Prof. Müller describes as taking place in the religion of Christ Buddha, is exactly what took place in the religion of Christ Jesus. That the miraculous, and many of the non-miraculous, events related in the Gospels never happened, is demonstrable from the facts which we have seen in this work, that nearly all of these events, had been previously related of the gods and goddesses of heathen nations of antiquity, more especially of the Hindoo SaviourCrishna, and the Buddhist Saviour Buddha, whose religion, with less alterations than time and translations have made in the Jewish Scriptures, may be traced in nearly every dogma and every ceremony of the evangelical mythology.


Note.—The Codex Sinaiticus, referred to on the preceding page, (note 2,) was found at the Convent of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai, by Tischendorf, in 1859. He supposes that it belongs to the 4th cent.; but Dr. Davidson (in Kitto’s Bib. Ency., Art. MSS.) thinks different. He says: “Probably it is of the 6th cent.,” while he states that the Codex Vaticanus “is believed to belong to the 4th cent.,” and the Codex Alexandrinus to the 5th cent. McClintock & Strong’s Ency. (Art. MSS.,) relying probably on Tischendorf’s conjecture, places the Codex Sinaiticus first. “It is probably the oldest of the MSS. of the N. T., and of the 4th cent.,” say they. The Codex Vaticanus is considered the next oldest, and the Codex Alexandrinus is placed third in order, and “was probably written in the first half of the 5th cent.” The writer of the art. N. T. in Smith’s Bib. Dic. says: “The Codex Sinaiticus is probably the oldest of the MSS. of the N. T., and of the 4th cent.;” and that the Codex Alexandrinus “was probably written in the first half of the 5th cent.” Thus we see that in determining the dates of the MSS. of the N. T., Christian divines are obliged to resort to conjecture; there being no certainty whatever in the matter. But with all their “suppositions,” “probabilities,” “beliefs” and “conjectures,” we have the words of the learned Michaelis still before us, that: “No MSS. of the N. T. now extant are prior to the sixth cent.” This remark, however, does not cover the Codex Sinaiticus, which was discovered since Michaelis wrote his work on the N. T.; but, as we saw above, Dr. Davidson does not agree with Tischendorf in regard to its antiquity, and places it in the 6th cent.
FOOTNOTES:
[450:1]Williams’ Hinduism, p. 19. See also, Prof. Max Müller’s Lectures on the Origin of Religion, pp. 145-158, and p. 67, where he speaks of “the Hindus, who, thousands of years ago, had reached in Upanishads the loftiest heights of philosophy.”
[450:2]The Ancient City, p. 13.
[451:1]See Monier Williams’ Hinduism, pp. 109, 110, and Indian Wisdom, p. 493.
[451:2]See Isis Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 576, for the authority of Prof. Max Müller.
[451:3]“The religion known as Buddhism—from the title of ‘The Buddha,’ meaning ‘The Wise,’ ‘The Enlightened’—has now existed for 2400 years, and may be said to be the prevailing religion of the world.” (Chambers’s Encyclo.)
[451:4]This Council was assembled by Asoka in the eighteenth year of his reign. The name of this king is honored wherever the teachings of Buddha have spread, and is reverenced from the Volga to Japan, from Ceylon and Siam to the borders of Mongolia and Siberia. Like his Christian prototype Constantine, he was converted by a miracle. After his conversion, which took place in the tenth year of his reign, he became a very zealous supporter of the new religion. He himself built many monasteries and dagabas, and provided many monks with the necessaries of life; and he encouraged those about his court to do the same. He published edicts throughout his empire, enjoining on all his subjects morality and justice.
[451:5]Rhys Davids’ Buddhism, p. 10.
[452:1]Müller: Lectures on the Science of Religion, p. 235.
[452:2]This small tribe of Persians were driven from their native land by the Mohammedan conquerors under the Khalif Omar, in the seventh century of our era. Adhering to the ancient religion of Persia, which resembles that of the Veda, and bringing with them the records of their faith, the Zend-Avesta of their prophet Zoroaster, they settled down in the neighborhood of Surat, about one thousand one hundred years ago, and became great merchants and shipbuilders. For two or three centuries we know little of their history. Their religion prevented them from making proselytes, and they never multiplied within themselves to any extent, nor did they amalgamate with the Hindoo population, so that even now their number only amounts to about seventy thousand. Nevertheless, from their busy, enterprising habits, in which they emulate Europeans, they form an important section of the population of Bombay and Western India.
[452:3]Movers: Quoted in Dunlap’s Spirit Hist., p. 261.
[452:4]Prolegomena, p. 417.
[452:5]Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief, p. 162.
[453:1]Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief, p. 163.
[453:2]Ibid. p. 142, and King’s Gnostics, p. 71.
[453:3]Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief, pp. 135, 140, and 143.
[453:4]Quoted in Ibid. p. 186.
[453:5]Ibid.
[453:6]Renouf: Religion of Ancient Egypt, p. 81.
[454:1]That is, the Tri-murti Brahmā, Vishnu and Siva, for he tells us that the three gods, Indra, Agni, and Surya, constitute the Vedic chief triad of Gods. (Hinduism, p. 24.) Again he tells us that the idea of a Tri-murti was first dimly shadowed forth in the Rig-Veda, where a triad of principal gods—Agni, Indra and Surya—is recognized. (Ibid. p. 88.) The worship of the three members of the Tri-murti, Brahmā, Vishnu and Siva, is to be found in the period of the epic poems, from 500 to 308 B. C. (Ibid. pp. 109, 110, 115.)
[454:2]Williams’ Hinduism, p. 25.
[454:3]Monumental Christianity, p. 890.
[454:4]See Mexican Antiquities, vol. vi.
[455:1]The genealogy which traces him back to Adam (Luke iii.) makes his religion not only a Jewish, but a Gentile one. According to this Gospel he is not only a Messiah sent to the Jews, but to all nations, sons of Adam.
[456:1]See The Bible of To-Day, under “Matthew.”
[456:2]See Ibid. under “Luke.”
[457:1]See the Bible of To-Day, under “Mark.”
[457:2]Synoptics;” the Gospels which contain accounts of the same events—”parallel passages,” as they are called—which can be written side by side, so as to enable us to make a general view or synopsis of all the three, and at the same time compare them with each other. Bishop Marsh says: “The most eminent critics are at present decidedly of opinion that one of the two suppositions must necessarily be adopted, either that the three Evangelists copied from each other, or that all the three drew from a common source, and that the notion of an absolute independence, in respect to the composition of the three first Gospels, is no longer tenable.”
[457:3]“On opening the New Testament and comparing the impression produced by the Gospel of Matthew or Mark with that by the Gospel of John, the observant eye is at once struck with as salient a contrast as that already indicated on turning from the Macbeth or Othello of Shakespeare to the Comus of Milton or to Spenser’s Faerie Queene.” (Francis Tiffany.)
“To learn how far we may trust them (the Gospels) we must in the first place compare them with each other. The moment we do so we notice that the fourth stands quite alone, while the first three form a single group, not only following the same general course, but sometimes even showing a verbal agreement which cannot possibly be accidental.” (The Bible for Learners, vol. ii. p. 27.)
[458:1]“Irenæus is the first person who mentions the four Gospels by name.” (Bunsen: Keys of St. Peter, p. 328.)
“Irenæus, in the second century, is the first of the fathers who, though he has nowhere given us a professed catalogue of the books of the New Testament, intimates that he had received four Gospels, as authentic Scriptures, the authors of which he describes.” (Rev. R. Taylor: Syntagma, p. 109.)
“The authorship of the fourth Gospel has been the subject of much learned and anxious controversy among theologians. The earliest, and only very important external testimony we have is that of Irenæus (A. D. 179.)” (W. R. Grey: The Creed of Christendom, p. 159.)
[458:2]Against Heresies, bk. ii. ch. xi. sec. 1.
[459:1]Against Heresies, bk. iii. ch. xi. sec. 8.
[459:2]Mosheim: vol. i. p. 109.
[459:3]Middleton’s Works, vol. i. p. 59.
[460:1]Genuine Epist. Apost. Fathers, p. 98.
[460:2]See Chadwick’s Bible of To-Day, pp. 191, 192.
[460:3]“Nec ab ipso scriptum constat, nec ab ejus apostolis sed longo post tempore a quibusdam incerti nominis viris, qui ne sibi non haberetur fides scribentibus quæ nescirent, partim apostolorum, partim eorum qui apostolos secuti viderentur nomina scriptorum suorum frontibus indiderunt, asseverantes secundum eos, se scripsisse quæ scripserunt.” (Faust, lib. 2. Quoted by Rev. R. Taylor: Diegesis, p. 114.)
[460:4]“Multa enim a majoribus vestris, eloquiis Domini nostri inserta verba sunt; quæ nomine signata ipsius, cum ejus fide non congruant, præsertim, quia, ut jam sæpe probatum a nobis est, nec ab ipso hæc sunt, nec ab ejus apostolis scripta, sed multo post eorum assumptionem, a nescio quibus, et ipsis inter se non concordantibus semi-Judæis, per famas opinionesque comperta sunt; qui tamen omnia eadem in apostolorum Domini conferentes nomina vel eorum qui secuti apostolos viderentur, errores ac mendacia sua secundum eos se scripsisse mentiti sunt.” (Faust.: lib. 88. Quoted in Ibid. p. 66.)
[461:1]Taylor‘s Diegesis.
[463:1]Says Prof. Smith upon this point: “All the earliest external evidence points to the conclusion that the synoptic gospels are non-apostolic digests of spoken and written apostolic tradition, and that the arrangement of the earlier material in orderly form took place only gradually and by many essays.”
Dr. Hooykaas, speaking of the four “Gospels,” and “Acts,” says of them: “Not one of these five books was really written by the person whose name it bears, and they are all of more recent date than the heading would lead us to suppose.”
“We cannot say that the “Gospels” and book of “Acts” are unauthentic, for not one of them professes to give the name of its author. They appeared anonymously. The titles placed above them in our Bibles owe their origin to a later ecclesiastical tradition which deserves no confidence whatever.” (Bible for Learners, vol. iii. pp. 24, 25.)
These Gospels “can hardly be said to have had authors at all. They had only editors or compilers. What I mean is, that those who enriched the old Christian literature with these Gospels did not go to work as independent writers and compose their own narratives out of the accounts they had collected, but simply took up the different stories or sets of stories which they found current in the oral tradition or already reduced to writing, adding here and expanding there, and so sent out into the world a very artless kind of composition. These works were then, from time to time, somewhat enriched by introductory matter or interpolations from the hands of later Christians, and perhaps were modified a little here and there. Our first two Gospels appear to have passed through more than one such revision. The third, whose writer says in his preface, that ‘many had undertaken to put together a narrative (Gospel),’ before him, appears to proceed from a single collecting, arranging, and modifying hand.” (Ibid. p. 29.)
[463:2]“Christiani doctores non in vulgus prodebant libros sacros, licet soleant plerique aliteropinari, erant tantum in manibus clericorum, priora per sæcula.” (Quoted in Taylor’s Diegesis, p. 48.)
[463:3]Mosheim: vol. i. pt. 2, ch. ii.
[463:4]General Survey of the Canon, p. 459.
[464:1]Credibility of the Gospels.
[464:2]Marsh’s Michaelis, vol. ii. p. 160. The Sinaitic MS. is believed by Tischendorf to belong to the fourth century.
[464:3]Ibid. p. 368.
[464:4]Eusebius: Ecclesiastical Hist. lib. 3, ch. xxii.
[465:1]The Science of Religion, pp. 30, 31.
Extract from CHAPTER  XXXVIII THE ANTIQUITY OF PAGAN RELIGIONS, “BIBLE MYTHS AND THEIR PARALLELS IN OTHER RELIGIONS” By T. W. DOANE,  1882. Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Lisa Reigel, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/31885/31885-h/31885-h.htm#Page_36

How Christianity Expanded?

EXPANSION OF CHRISTIANITY& IMPLAUSIBLE DOCTRINES

 

.” The same thing which is now called CHRISTIAN RELIGION existed among the Ancients. They have begun to call Christianity the true religion which existed before,” SAINT AUGUSTINE.


” Our love for what is old, our reverence for what our fathers used, makes us keep still in the church, and on the very altar cloths, symbols which would excite the smile of an Oriental, and lead him to wonder why we send missionaries to his land, while cherishing his faith in ours.”JAMES BONWICK.

Introduction:

Christianity is the largest world religion with over 1.5 billion followers; it derives its name form Christ Jesus. It is of academic interest to explore through historic evidence that; How a Jewish sect became the world religion?  The clear teachings of Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) as available in the four existing Gospels indicate that he unambiguously preached to Israelis, the same message of Hebrew prophets; obedience and worship to One God: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”(Deuteronomy; 6:4, Mark; 12:29). The essence of the teachings is presented in the Sermon on the Mount, where he said: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.  For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”(Mathew; 5:17-20 also 5:3-12, 6:9-13).
The question of the origin of Jesus, his nature and relation to God, which later became so important, was not raised among his early disciples. The belief that Jesus was a man super-naturally endowed prophet of God was accepted without question. Nothing in the words of Jesus or the events in his life led them to modify this view. According to Aristides, one of the earliest apologists, the worship of the early Christians was more purely monotheistic even than of the Jews.
After Jesus Christ, the original followers of Jesus Christ continued to live as Jews and practiced what Jesus had taught them. It did not occur to any of them that they could ever be regarded as followers of a new religion.  They were devout and practicing Jews and they were distinguished from their neighbours, only by their faith in the message of Jesus. In the beginning they did not organize themselves as a separate sect and did not have a synagogue of their own.   There was nothing in the message of Jesus, as understood by them, to necessitate a break with Judaism. However, they incurred the enmity of the vested interests among the Jewish higher echelon.
With the conversion of Paul (4–64 C.E) a new period opened in Christian Theology. Paul a Jew and an inhabitant of Tarsus, had spent a long time in Rome, he was a Roman citizen. He realized the strong hold which the Roman religion had on the masses. The intellectuals were under the influence of Plato and Aristotle. Paul seems to have felt that it would not be possible to convert the masses in the Roman Empire without making mutual adjustments. But his practical wisdom was not acceptable to those who had seen and heard Jesus. However, in spite of their difference, they decided to work together for the common cause.
Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) presented a spiritual message and main ideas concerning human conduct. Christian theology, however, was shaped principally by the work of Paul and alike, who adulterated the spiritual message of Jesus. Paul became the foremost proselytizer of the new religion of Christianity. His influence on Christian theology proved to be the most permanent and far-reaching of all Christian writers and thinkers.
The conflict between the Jews and the followers of Jesus was started by the Jews because they felt that the Christians would undermine their “authority”. The gulf progressively began to widen. During the siege of Jerusalem in 70 C.E, they left the city; and refused to take part in the Bar Coachaba rebellion in 132 C.E. These two events brought to the surface the difference between the followers of Jesus Christ and the Jews. Later the efforts of Paul bear fruits, Trinity and other strange doctrines got embedded to form the new religion, ‘Christianity’.
The Gospels written by unknown authors in stages [between 50 to 110 years after Jesus Christ] attributing titles to some familiar names for credibility got some new ideas incorporated. The “Preface” to ‘The Bible, Revised Standard Version’ (RSV) states:-
“The King James Version has grave defects. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the development of Biblical studies and the discovery of many manuscripts more ancient than those upon which the King James Version was based, made it manifest that these defects are so many and so serious as to call for revision of the English translation…… The Council appointed a committee of scholars to have charge of the text of the American Standard Version and to undertake inquiry …. If in the judgment of the Committee the meaning of a passage is quite uncertain or obscure, either because of corruption in the text or because of the inadequacy of our present knowledge of the language, that fact is indicated by a note.” [419:1a]
Similarly many other Biblical scholars like Dr.Bart Ehrman, Lloyd Graham, Burton L. Mack Douglas and Lockhart are also in consensus on existence of serious errors and inconsistencies in the Bible. Moreover many modern scholars like Sir Anthony Buzzard and Joseph Good logically prove that the doctrines of Christianity like Trinity do not get textual support even from the Bible. The message of Jesus Christ was clear and simple monotheistic; “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”(Mark :12:29-30), same in Old Testament Deuteronomy 6:4–9, 11:13-21, and Numbers 15:37–41. However the fundamental doctrine of Trinity defines; God as three divine persons (ὑποστάσεις): the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial (ὁμοούσιοι). Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being (οὐσία), this appears to be absurd and irrational to common mind, considered to be a mystery of Christian faith.
Based upon thorough research and historical evidence there is general agreement among many scholars that Christian doctrines like ‘Trinity’, ‘Original Sin’, ‘Salvation through Faith’, ‘Baptism’, ‘Original Sin’, ‘Crucifixion’, ‘Resurrection’, ‘Eucharist’, ‘Birthday of Christ Jesus’ and even ‘Christian Symbols’, have been adapted form other pagan religions. The similarities in the narratives about Jesus Christ, Krishna (Hindu Lord) and Buddha are too obvious to be ignored. The persecution and destruction of works of early scholars like Porphyry (234–305 C.E), Hierocles (430 C.E) and Celsus did not totally eliminate their factual views on Christianity as opposed to the Church.
The question arises that despite being in conflict with teachings of Jesus Christ, lacking in authenticity, logic and rationality, why did Christianity prosper to become a world religion? Why was Jesus of Nazareth believed to be a divine incarnation and Saviour? There were many reasons to it, each requiring a book, however here only four main causes are being touched upon briefly. This is based upon the excerpts with minor changes from the 1882 classic book “Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions” by Thomas William Doane, who undertook extensive research as evident from authentic references quoted to prove the point.

1. Essenes Affinity with Buddhism – A Jumping pad for Christianity:

For many centuries before the time of Christ Jesus there lived a sect of religious monks known as Essenes, or Therapeutæ;[419:1] these entirely disappeared from history shortly after the time assigned for the crucifixion of Jesus. There were thousands of them, and their monasteries were to be counted by the score. Many have asked the question, “What became of them?” We now propose to show:
1. That they were expecting the advent of an Angel-Messiah;
2. That they considered Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah;
3. That they came over to Christianity in a body; and,
4. That they brought the legendary histories of the former Angel-Messiahs with them.
The origin of the sect known as Essenes is enveloped in mist, and will probably never be revealed. To speak of all the different ideas entertained as to their origin would make a volume of it, we can therefore but glance at the subject. It has been the object of Christian writers up to a comparatively recent date, to claim that almost everything originated with God’s chosen people, the Jews, and that even all languages can be traced to the Hebrew. Under these circumstances, then, it is not to be wondered at that we find they have also traced the Essenes to Hebrew origin.
[The Essenes have gained fame in modern times as a result of the discovery of an extensive group of religious documents known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are commonly believed to be Essenes’ library—although there is no proof that the Essenes wrote them. These documents include preserved multiple copies of the Hebrew Bible untouched from as early as 300 BCE until their discovery in 1946. Some scholars, however, dispute the notion that the Essenes wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls.]
Theophilus Gale, who wrote a work called “The Court of the Gentiles” (Oxford, 1671), to demonstrate that “the origin of all human literature, both philology and philosophy, is from the Scriptures and the Jewish church,” undoubtedly hits upon the truth when he says:
“Now, the origination or rise of these Essenes (among the Jews) I conceive by the best conjectures I can make from antiquity, to be in or immediately after the Babylonian captivity, though some make them later.”
Some Christian writers trace them to Moses or some of the prophets, but that they originated in India, and were a sort of Buddhist sect, we believe is their true history.
Gfrörer (1803-1861), who wrote concerning them in 1835, and said that “the Essenes and the Therapeutæ are the same sect, and hold the same views,” was undoubtedly another writer who was touching upon historical ground.
The identity of many of the precepts and practices of Essenism and those of the New Testament is unquestionable. Essenism urged on its disciples to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.[420:1] The Essenes forbade the laying up of treasures upon earth.[420:2] The Essenes demanded of those who wished to join them to sell all their possessions, and to divide it among the poor brethren.[420:3] The Essenes had all things in common, and appointed one of the brethren as steward to manage the common bag.[420:4] Essenism put all its members on the same level, forbidding the exercise of authority of one over the other, and enjoining mutual service.[420:5] Essenism commanded its disciples to call no man master upon the earth.[420:6] Essenism laid the greatest stress upon being meek and lowly in spirit.[420:7] The Essenes commended the poor in spirit, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemaker. They combined the healing of the body with that of the soul. They declared that the power to cast out evil spirits, to perform miraculous cures, &c., should be possessed by their disciples as signs of their belief.[420:8] The Essenes did not swear at all; their answer was yea, yea, and nay, nay.[420:9] When the Essenes started on a mission of mercy, they provided neither gold nor silver, neither two coats, neither shoes, but relied on hospitality for support.[420:10] The Essenes, though repudiating offensive war, yet took weapons with them when they went on a perilous journey.[421:1] The Essenes abstained from connubial intercourse.[421:2] The Essenes did not offer animal sacrifices, but strove to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which they regarded as a reasonable service.[421:3] It was the great aim of the Essenes to live such a life of purity and holiness as to be the temples of the Holy Spirit, and to be able to prophesy.[421:4]
Many other comparisons might be made, but these are sufficient to show that there is a great similarity between the two.[421:5] These similarities have led many Christian writers to believe that Jesus belonged to this order. Dr. Ginsburg, an advocate of this theory, says:
“It will hardly be doubted that our Saviour himself belonged to this holy brotherhood. This will especially be apparent when we remember that the whole Jewish community, at the advent of Christ, was divided into three parties, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes, and that every Jew had to belong to one of these sects. Jesus, who, in all things, conformed to the Jewish law, and who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners, would therefore naturally associate himself with that order of Judaism which was most congenial to his holy nature. Moreover, the fact that Christ, with the exception of once, was not heard of in public until his thirtieth year, implying that he lived in seclusion with this fraternity, and that though he frequently rebuked the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees, he never denounced the Essenes, strongly confirms this conclusion.”[421:6]
The facts—as Dr. Ginsburg calls them—which confirm his conclusions are simply no facts at all. Jesus may or may not have been a member of this order; but when it is stated as a fact that he never rebuked the Essenes, it is implying too much. We know not whether the words said to have been uttered by Jesus were ever uttered by him or not, and it is almost certain that had he rebuked the Essenes, and had his words been written in the Gospels, they would not remain there long. We hear very little of the Essenes after A. D. 40,[421:7] therefore, when we read of the “primitive Christians,” we are reading of Essenes, and others.
The statement that, with the exception of once, Jesus was not heard in public life till his thirtieth year, is also uncertain. One of the early Christian Fathers (Irenæus) tells us that he did not begin to teach until he was forty years of age, or thereabout, and that he lived to be nearly fifty years old.[422:1] “The records of his life are very scanty; and these have been so shaped and colored and modified by the hands of ignorance and superstition and party prejudice and ecclesiastical purpose, that it is hard to be sure of the original outlines.”
The similarity of the sentiments of the Essenes, or Therapeutae, to those of the Church of Rome, induced the learned Jesuit, Nicolaus Serarius, to seek for them an honourable origin. He contended therefore, that they were Asideans, and derived them from the Rechabites, described so circumstantially in the thirty-fifth chapter of Jeremiah; at the same time, he asserted that the first Christian monks were Essenes.[422:2]
Mr. King, speaking of the Christian sect called Gnostics, says:
“Their chief doctrines had been held for centuries before (their time) in many of the cities of Asia Minor. There, it is probable, they first came into existence as ‘Mystæ,’ upon the establishment of a direct intercourse with India under the Seleucidæ and the Ptolemies. The colleges of Essenes and Megabyzae at Ephesus, the Orphics of Thrace, the Curetes of Crete, are all merely branches of one antique and common religion, and that originally Asiatic.”[422:3]
Again:
“The introduction of Buddhism into Egypt and Palestine affords the only true solution of innumerable difficulties in the history of religion.”[422:4]
Again:
“That Buddhism had actually been planted in the dominions of the Seleucidæ and Ptolemies (Palestine belonging to the former) before the beginning of the third century B. C., is proved to demonstration by a passage in the Edicts of Asoka, grandson of the famous Chandragupta, the Sandracottus of the Greeks. These edicts are engraven on a rock at Girnur, in Guzerat.”[422:5]
Eusebius, in quoting from Philo concerning the Essenes, seems to take it for granted that they and the Christians were one and the same, and from the manner in which he writes, it would appear that it was generally understood so. He says that Philo called them “Worshipers,” and concludes by saying:
“But whether he himself gave them this name, or whether at the beginning they were so called, when as yet the name of Christians was not everywhere published, I think it not needful curiosity to sift out.”[422:6]
This celebrated ecclesiastical historian considered it very probable that the writings of the Essenic Therapeuts in Egypt had been incorporated into the gospels of the New Testament, and into some Pauline epistles. His words are:
“It is very likely that the commentaries (Scriptures) which were among them (the Essenes) were the Gospels, and the works of the apostles, and certain expositions of the ancient prophets, such as partly that epistle unto the Hebrews, and also the other epistles of Paul do contain.”[423:1]
The principal doctrines and rites of the Essenes can be connected with the East, with Parsism, and especially with Buddhism. Among the doctrines which Essenes and Buddhists had in common was that of the Angel-Messiah.[423:2]
Godfrey Higgins says:
“The Essenes were called physicians of the soul, or Therapeutæ; being resident both in Judea and Egypt, they probably spoke or had their sacred books in Chaldee. They were Pythagoreans, as is proved by all their forms, ceremonies, and doctrines, and they called themselves sons of Jesse. If the Pythagoreans or Conobitae as they are called by Jamblicus, were Buddhists, the Essenes were Buddhists. The Essenes lived in Egypt, on the lake of Parembole or Maria, in monasteries. These are the very places in which we formerly found the Gymnosophists, or Samaneans, or Buddhist priests to have lived; which Gymnosophistæ are placed also by Ptolemy in north-eastern India.”
“Their (the Essenes) parishes, churches, bishops, priests, deacons, festivals are all identically the same (as the Christians). They had apostolic founders; the manners which distinguished the immediate apostles of Christ; scriptures divinely inspired; the same allegorical mode of interpreting them, which has since obtained among Christians, and the same order of performing public worship. They had missionary stations or colonies of their community established in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Phillippi, Colosse, and Thessalonica, precisely such, and in the same circumstances, as were those to whom St. Paul addressed his letters in those places. All the fine moral doctrines which are attributed to the Samaritan Nazarite, and I doubt not justly attributed to him, are to be found among the doctrines of these ascetics.”[423:3]
And Arthur Lillie says:
“It is asserted by calm thinkers like Dean Mansel that within two generations of the time of Alexander the Great, the missionaries of Buddha made their appearance at Alexandria.[423:4] This theory is confirmed—in the east by the Asoka monuments—in the west by Philo. He expressly maintains the identity in creed of the higher Judaism and that of the Gymnosophists of India who abstained from the ‘sacrifice of living animals’—in a word, the BUDDHISTS. It would follow from this that the priestly religion of Babylonia, Palestine, Egypt, and Greece were undermined by certain kindred mystical societies organized by Buddha’s missionaries under the various names of Therapeutes, Essenes, Neo-Pythagoreans, Neo-Zoroastrians, &c. Thus Buddhism prepared the way for Christianity.”[424:1]
The Buddhists have the “eight-fold holy path” (Dhammapada), eight spiritual states leading up to Buddhahood. The first state of the Essenes resulted from baptism, and it seems to correspond with the first Buddhistic state, those who have entered the (mystic) stream. Patience, purity, and the mastery of passion were aimed at by both devotees in the other stages. In the last, magical powers, healing the sick, casting out evil spirits, etc., were supposed to be gained. Buddhists and Essenes seem to have doubled up this eight-fold path into four, for some reason or other. Buddhists and Essenes had three orders of ascetics or monks, but this classification is distinct from the spiritual classifications.[424:2]
The doctrine of the “Anointed Angel,” of the man from heaven, the Creator of the world, the doctrine of the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus by the blood of his cross, the doctrine of the Messianic antetype of the Paschal lamb of the Paschal omer, and thus of the resurrection of Christ Jesus, the third day, according to the Scriptures, these doctrines of Paul can, with more or less certainty, be connected with the Essenes. It becomes almost a certainty that Eusebius was right in surmising that Essenic writings have been used by Paul and the evangelists. Not Jesus, but Paul, is the cause of the separation of the Jews from the Christians.[424:3]
The probability, then, that that sect of vagrant quack-doctors, the Therapeutæ, who were established in Egypt and its neighbourhood many ages before the period assigned by later theologians as that of the birth of Christ Jesus, were the original fabricators of the writings contained in the New Testament, becomes a certainty on the basis of evidence, than which history has nothing more certain, furnished by the unguarded, but explicit, unwary, but most unqualified and positive statement of the historian Eusebius, that “those ancient Therapeutæ were Christians, and that their ancient writings were our gospels and epistles.”
The Essenes, the Therapeuts, the Ascetics, the Monks, the Ecclesiastics, and the Eclectics, are but different names for one and the self-same sect.
The word “Essene” is nothing more than the Egyptian word for that of which Therapeut is the Greek, each of them signifying “healer” or “doctor,” and designating the character of the sect as professing to be endued with the miraculous gift of healing; and more especially so with respect to diseases of the mind.
Their name of “Ascetics” indicated the severe discipline and exercise of self-mortification, long fasting, prayers, contemplation, and even making of themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake, as did Origen, Melito, and others who derived their Christianity from the same school; Jesus himself is represented to have recognized and approved their practice.
Their name of “Monks” indicated their delight in solitude, their contemplative life, and their entire segregation and abstraction from the world, which Jesus, in the Gospel, is in like manner represented as describing, as characteristic of the community of which he was a member.
Their name of “Ecclesiastics” was of the same sense, and indicated their being called out, elected, separated from the general fraternity of mankind, and set apart to the more immediate service and honour of God.
They had a flourishing university, or corporate body, established upon these principles, at Alexandria in Egypt, long before the period assigned for the birth of Christ Jesus.[425:1]
From this body they sent out missionaries, and had established colonies, auxiliary branches, and affiliated communities, in various cities of Asia Minor, which colonies were in a flourishing condition, before the preaching of St. Paul.
“The very ancient and Eastern doctrine of an Angel-Messiah had been applied to Gautama-Buddha, and so it was applied to Jesus Christ by the Essenes of Egypt and of Palestine, who introduced this new Messianic doctrine into Essenic Judaism and Essenic Christianity.”[425:2]
In the Pali and Sanscrit texts the word Buddha is always used as a title, not as a name. It means “The Enlightened One.” Gautama Buddha is represented to have taught that he was only one of a long series of Buddhas, who appear at intervals in the world, and who all teach the same system. After the death of each Buddha his religion flourishes for a time, but finally wickedness and vice again rule over the land. Then a new Buddha appears, who again preaches the lost Dharma or truth. The names of twenty-four of these Buddhas who appeared previous to Gautama have been handed down to us. The Buddhavansa, or “History of the Buddhas,” the last book of the Khuddaka Nikaya in the second Pitca, gives the lives of all the previous Buddhas before commencing its account of Gautama himself; and the Pali commentary on the Jatakas gives certain details regarding each of the twenty-four.[426:1]
An Avatar was expected about every six hundred years.[426:2] At the time of Jesus of Nazareth an Avatar was expected, not by some of the Jews alone, but by most every eastern nation.[426:3] Many persons were thought at that time to be, and undoubtedly thought themselves to be, the Christ, and the only reason why the name of Jesus of Nazareth succeeded above all others, is because the Essenes—who were expecting an Angel-Messiah—espoused it. Had it not been for this almost indisputable fact, the name of Jesus of Nazareth would undoubtedly not be known at the present day.
Epiphanius, a Christian bishop and writer of the fourth century, says, in speaking of the Essenes:
“They who believed on Christ were called JESSAEI (or Essenes), before they were called Christians. These derived their constitution from the signification of the name Jesus, which in Hebrew signifies the same as Therapeutes, that is, a saviour or physician.”
Thus we see that, according to Christian authority, the Essenes and Therapeutes are one, and that the Essenes espoused the cause of Jesus of Nazareth, accepted him as an Angel-Messiah, and became known to history as Christians, or believers in the Anointed Angel.
This ascetic Buddhist sect called Essenes were therefore expecting an Angel-Messiah, for had not Gautama announced to his disciples that another Buddha, and therefore another angel in human form, another organ or advocate of the wisdom from above, would descend from heaven to earth, and would be called the “Son of Love.”
The learned Thomas Maurice says:
“From the earliest post-diluvian age, to that in which the Messiah appeared, together with the traditions which so expressly recorded the fall of the human race from a state of original rectitude and felicity, there appears, from an infinite variety of hieroglyphic monuments and of written documents, to have prevailed, from generation to generation, throughout all the regions of the higher Asia, an uniform belief that, in the course of revolving ages, there should arise a sacred personage, a mighty deliverer of mankind from the thraldom of sin and of death. In fact, the memory of the grand original promise, that the seed of the woman should eventually crush the serpent, was carefully preserved in the breasts of the Asiatics; it entered deeply into their symbolic superstitions, and was engraved aloft amidst their mythological sculptures.”[427:1]
That an Angel-Messiah was generally expected at this time may be inferred from the following facts: Some of the Gnostic sects of Christians, who believed that Jesus was an emanation from God, likewise supposed that there were several Aeons, or emanations from the Eternal Father. Among those who taught this doctrine was Basilides and his followers.[427:2]
SIMON MAGUS was believed to be “He who should come.” Simon was worshiped in Samaria and other countries, as the expected Angel-Messiah, as a God.
Justin Martyr says:
“After the ascension of our Lord into heaven, certain men were suborned by demons as their agents, who said that they were gods (i. e., the Angel Messiah). Among these was Simon, a certain Samaritan, whom nearly all the Samaritans and a few also of other nations, worshiped, confessing him as a Supreme God.”[427:3]
His miracles were notorious, and admitted by all. His followers became so numerous that they were to be found in all countries. In Rome, in the reign of Claudius, a statue was erected in his honour. Clement of Rome, speaking of Simon Magus, says that:
“He wishes to be considered an exalted person and to be considered ‘the Christ.’ He claims that he can never be dissolved, asserting that he will endure to eternity.”
Montanus was another person who evidently believed himself to be an Angel-Messiah. He was called by himself and his followers the “Paraclete,” or “Holy Spirit.”[428:1]
Socrates Scholasticus (5th century CE), in his Ecclesiastical History, tells us of one Buddhas (who lived after Jesus):
“Who afore that time was called Terebynthus, which went to the coasts of Babylon, inhabited by Persians, and there published of himself many false wonders: that he was born of a virgin, that he was bred and brought up in the mountains, etc.”[428:2]
He was evidently one of the many fanatics who believed themselves to be the Paraclete or Comforter, the “Expected One.”
Another one of these Christs was Apollonius. This remarkable man was born a few years before the commencement of the Christian era, and during his career, sustained the role of a philosopher, religious teacher and reformer, and a worker of miracles. He is said to have lived to be a hundred years old. From the history of his life, written by the learned sophist and scholar, Philostratus, we glean the following:
Before his birth a god appeared to his mother and informed her that he himself should be born of her. At the time of her delivery, the most wonderful things happened. All the people of the country acknowledged that he was the “Son of God.” As he grew in stature, his wonderful powers, greatness of memory, and marvellous beauty attracted the attention of all. A great part of his time was spent, when a youth, among the learned doctors; the disciples of Plato, Chrysippus and Aristotle. When he came to man’s estate, he became an enthusiastic admirer and devoted follower of Pythagoras. His fame soon spread far and near, and wherever he went he reformed the religious worship of the day. He went to Ephesus, like Christ Jesus to Jerusalem, where the people flocked about him. While at Athens, in Greece, he cast out an evil spirit from a youth. As soon as Apollonius fixed his eyes upon him, the demon broke out into the most angry and horrid expressions, and then swore he would depart out of the youth. He put an end to a plague which was raging at Ephesus, and at Corinth he raised a dead maiden to life, by simply taking her by the hand and bidding her arise. The miracles of Apollonius were extensively believed, by Christians as well as others, for centuries after his time. In the fourth century Hierocles drew a parallel between the two Christs—Apollonius and Jesus—which was answered by Eusebius, the great champion of the Christian church. In it he admits the miracles of Apollonius, but attributes them to sorcery.
Apollonius was worshiped as a god, in different countries, as late as the fourth century. A beautiful temple was built in honour of him, and he was held in high esteem by many of the Pagan emperors. Eunapius, who wrote concerning him in the fifth century, says that his history should have been entitled “The Descent of a God upon Earth.” It is as Albert Reville says:
“The universal respect in which Apollonius was held by the whole pagan world, testified to the deep impression which the life of this Supernatural Being had left indelibly fixed in their minds; an expression which caused one of his contemporaries to exclaim, ‘We have a God living among us.'”
A Samaritan, by name Menander, who was contemporary with the apostles of Jesus, was another of these fanatics who believed himself to be the Christ. He went about performing miracles, claiming that he was a SAVIOUR, “sent down from above from the invisible worlds, for the salvation of mankind.”[429:1] He baptized his followers in his own name. His influence was great, and continued for several centuries. Justin Martyr and other Christian Fathers wrote against him.
Manes evidently believed himself to be “the Christ,” or “he who was to come.” His followers also believed the same concerning him. Eusebius, speaking of him, says:
“He presumed to represent the person of Christ; he proclaimed himself to be the Comforter and the Holy Ghost, and being puffed up with this frantic pride, chose, as if he were Christ, twelve partners of his new-found doctrine, patching into one heap false and detestable doctrines of old, rotten, and rooted out heresies, the which he brought out of Persia.”[429:2]
The word Manes, says Usher in his Annals, has the meaning of Paraclete or Comforter or Saviour. This at once lets us into the secret—a new incarnation, an Angel-Messiah, a Christ—born from the side of his mother, and put to a violent death—flayed alive, and hung up, or crucified, by a king of Persia.[429:3] This is the teacher with his twelve apostles on the rock of Gualior.
Du Perron, in his life of Zoroaster, gives an account of certain prophecies to be found in the sacred books of the Persians. One of these is to the effect that, at successive periods of time, there will appear on earth certain “Sons of Zoroaster,” who are to be the result of immaculate conceptions. These virgin-born gods will come upon earth for the purpose of establishing the law of God. It is also asserted that Zoroaster, when on earth, declared that in the “latter days” a pure virgin would conceive, and bear a son, and that as soon as the child was born a star would appear, blazing even at noonday, with undiminished splendor. This Christ is to be called Sosiosh. He will redeem mankind, and subdue the Devs, who have been tempting and leading men astray ever since the fall of our first parents.
Among the Greeks the same prophecy was found. The Oracle of Delphi was the depository, according to Plato, of an ancient and secret prophecy of the birth of a “Son of Apollo,” who was to restore the reign of justice and virtue on the earth.[430:1]
Those who believed in successive emanations of Aeons from the Throne of Light, pointed to the passage in the Gospels where Jesus is made to say that he will be succeeded by the Parakletos or Comforter. Muhammad [prophet, peace be upon him] was believed by many to be this Parakletos, and it is said that he too told his disciples that another Parakletos [to known as Mehdi, guided one] is the prophesied redeemer who will stay on earth for couple of years before the Day of Judgment and, alongside Jesus Christ, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny. According to accepted tradition, the Prophet himself designated the line of descent in which his most important successor would be found, and even indicated his personal appearance. Many people claimed to be Mehdi, in the Muslim world especially during last two centuries, but their claims proved to be hollow. [modified]
History then relates to us the indisputable fact that at the time of Jesus of Nazareth an Angel-Messiah was expected, that many persons claimed, and were believed to be, the “Expected One,” and that the reason why Jesus was accepted above all others was because the Essenes—a very numerous sect—believed him to be the true Messiah, and came over to his followers in a body. It was because there were so many of these Christs in existence that some follower of Jesus—but no one knows who—wrote as follows:
“If any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ, or, lo, he is there; believe him not; for false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”[431:1]
The reasons why Jesus was not accepted as the Messiah by the majority of the Jews was because the majority expected a daring and irresistible warrior and conqueror, who, armed with greater power than Caear, was to come upon earth to rend the fetters in which their hapless nation had so long groaned, to avenge them upon their haughty oppressors, and to re-establish the kingdom of Judah; and this Jesus—although he evidently claimed to be the Messiah—did not do.
Tacitus (56 – 117 C.E), the Roman historian, says:
“The generality had a strong persuasion that it was contained in the ancient writings of the priests, that at that very time the east should prevail: and that some one, who should come out of Judea, should obtain the empire of the world; which ambiguities foretold Vespasian and Titus. But the common people (of the Jews), according to the influence of human wishes, appropriated to themselves, by their interpretation, this vast grandeur foretold by the fates, nor could be brought to change their opinion for the true, by all their adversities.”
Suetonius, (69/75 – after 130) another Roman historian, says:
“There had been for a long time all over the east a constant persuasion that it was recorded in the fates (books of the fates, or foretellings), that at that time some one who should come out of Judea should obtain universal dominion. It appears by the event that this prediction referred to the Roman emperor; but the Jews, referring it to themselves, rebelled.”
This is corroborated by Josephus, the Jewish historian, who says:
“That which, chiefly excited them (the Jews) to war, was an ambiguous prophecy, which was also found in the sacred books, that at that time some one, within their country, should arise, that should obtain the empire of the whole world. For this they had received by tradition, that it was spoken of one of their nation; and many wise men were deceived with the interpretation. But, in truth, Vespasian’s empire was designed in this prophecy, who was created emperor (of Rome) in Judea.”
As the Rev. Dr. Geikie remarks, the central and dominant characteristic of the teaching of the rabbis, was the certain advent of a great national Deliverer—the Messiah—but not a God from heaven.
For a time Cyrus appeared to realize the promised Deliverer, or, at least, to be the chosen instrument to prepare the way for him, and, in his turn, Zerubabel became the centre of Messianic hopes. In fact, the national mind had become so inflammable, by constant brooding on this one theme, that any bold spirit, rising in revolt against the Roman power, could find an army of fierce disciples who trusted that it should be he who would redeem Israel.[432:1]
The “taxing” which took place under Cyrenius, Governor of Syria (A. D. 7), excited the wildest uproar against the Roman power. The Hebrew spirit was stung into exasperation; the puritans of the nation, the enthusiasts, fanatics, the zealots of the law, the literal constructionists of prophecy, appealed to the national temper, revived the national faith, and fanned into flame the combustible elements that smouldered in the bosom of the race. The Messianic hope was strong in these people; all the stronger on account of their political degradation. Born in sorrow, the anticipation grew keen in bitter hours. That Jehovah would abandon them could not be believed. The thought would be atheism. The hope kept the eastern Jews in a perpetual state of insurrection. The cry “Lo here, lo there!” was incessant. Claimant after claimant of the dangerous supremacy of the Messiah appeared, pitched a camp in the wilderness, raised the banner, gathered a force, was attacked, defeated, banished, or crucified; but the frenzy did not abate.
The last insurrection among the Jews, that of Bar-Cochba—”Son of the Star”—revealed an astonishing frenzy of zeal. It was purely a Messianic uprising. Judaism had excited the fears of the Emperor Hadrian, and induced him to inflict unusual severities on the people. The effect of the violence was to stimulate that conviction to fury. The night of their despair was once more illumined by the star of the east. The banner of the Messiah was raised. Potents, as of old, were seen in the sky; the clouds were watched for the glory that should appear. Bar-Cochba seemed to fill out the popular idea of the deliverer. Miracles were ascribed to him; flames issued from his mouth. The vulgar imagination made haste to transform the audacious fanatic into a child of David. Multitudes flocked to his standard. The whole Jewish race throughout the world was in commotion. The insurrection gained head. The heights about Jerusalem were seized and occupied, and fortifications were erected; nothing but the “host of angels” was needed to insure victory. The angels did not appear; the Roman legions did. The “Messiah,” not proving himself a conqueror, was held to have proved himself an impostor, the “son of a lie.”[433:1]
The impetuous zeal with which the Jews rushed to the standard of this Messianic impostor, in the 130th year of the Christian era, demonstrates the true Jewish character, and shows how readily any one who made the claim, was believed to be “He who should come.” Even the celebrated Rabbi Akiba sanctioned this daring fraud. Akiba declared that the so-called prophecy of Balaam,—”a star shall rise out of Jacob,”—was accomplished. Hence the impostor took his title of Bar-Cochabas, or Son of the Star; and Akiba not only publicly anointed him “KING OF THE JEWS,” and placed an imperial diadem upon his head, but followed him to the field at the head of four-and-twenty thousand of his disciples, and acted in the capacity of master of his horse.
Those who believed on the meek and benevolent Jesus—and whose number was very small—were of that class who believed in the doctrine of the Angel-Messiah,[433:2] first heard of among them when taken captives to Babylon. These believed that just as Buddha appeared at different intervals, and as Vishnu appeared at different intervals, the avatars appeared among the Jews. Adam, and Enoch, and Noah, and Elijah or Elias, might in outward appearance be different men, but they were really the self-same divine person successively animating various human bodies.[433:3] Christ Jesus was the avatar of the ninth age, Christ Cyrus was the avatar of the eighth. Of the hero of the eighth age it is said: “Thus said the Lord to his Anointed (i. e., his Christ), his Messiah, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden to subdue nations.”[434:1] The eighth period began about the Babylonish captivity, about six hundred years before Christ Jesus. The ninth began with Christ Jesus, making in all eight cycles before Jesus.
“What was known in Judea more than a century before the birth of Jesus Christ cannot have been introduced among Buddhists by Christian missionaries. It will become equally certain that the bishop and church-historian, Eusebius, was right when he wrote, that he considered it highly probable that the writings of the Essenic Therapeuts in Egypt had been incorporated into our Gospels, and into some Pauline epistles.”[434:2]
For further information on the subject of the connection between Essenism and Christianity, the reader is referred to Taylor’s Diegesis, Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, and the works of S. F. Dunlap. We shall now speak of another powerful lever which was brought to bear upon the promulgation of Christianity; namely, that of FRAUD.

2. Deceit & Fraud:

It was a common thing among the early Christian Fathers and saints to lie and deceive, if their lies and deceits helped the cause of their Christ. Lactantius, an eminent Christian author who flourished in the fourth century, has well said:
“Among those who seek power and gain from their religion, there will never be wanting an inclination to forge and lie for it.”[434:3]
Gregory of Nazianzus, writing to St. Jerome, says:
“A little jargon is all that is necessary to impose on the people. The less they comprehend, the more they admire. Our forefathers and doctors have often said, not what they thought, but what circumstances and necessity dictated.”[434:4]
The celebrated Eusebius, Bishop of CAESAREA, and friend of Constantine the Great, who is our chief guide for the early history of the Church, confesses that he was by no means scrupulous to record the whole truth concerning the early Christians in the various works which he has left behind him.[434:5] Edward Gibbon, speaking of him, says:
“The gravest of the ecclesiastical historians, Eusebius himself, indirectly confesses that he has related what might redound to the glory, and that he has suppressed all that could tend to the disgrace of religion. Such an acknowledgment will naturally excite a suspicion that a writer who has so openly violated one of the fundamental laws of history, has not paid a very strict regard to the observance of the other; and the suspicion will derive additional credit from the character of Eusebius, which was less tinctured with credulity, and more practiced in the arts of courts, than that of almost any of his contemporaries.”[435:1]
The great theologian, Beausobre, in his “Histoire de Manichee,” says:
“We see in the history which I have related, a sort of hypocrisy, that has been perhaps, but too common at all times; that churchmen not only do not say what they think, but they do say the direct contrary of what they think. Philosophers in their cabinets; out of them they are content with fables, though they well know they are fables. Nay, more; they deliver honest men to the executioner, for having uttered what they themselves know to be true. How many atheists and pagans have burned holy men under the pretext of heresy? Every day do hypocrites consecrate, and make people adore the host, though as well convinced as I am, that it is nothing but a bit of bread.”[435:2]
M. Daille says:
“This opinion has always been in the world, that to settle a certain and assured estimation upon that which is good and true, it is necessary to remove out of the way, whatsoever may be an hindrance to it. Neither ought we to wonder that even those of the honest, innocent, primitive times made use of these deceits, seeing for a good end they made no scruple to forge whole books.”[435:3]
Reeves, in his “Apologies of the Fathers,” says:
“It was a Catholic opinion among the philosophers, that pious frauds were good things, and that the people ought to be imposed on in matters of religion.”[435:4]
Mosheim, the ecclesiastical historian, says:
“It was held as a maxim that it was not only lawful but praiseworthy to deceive, and even to use the expedient of a lie, in order to advance the cause of truth and piety.”[435:5]
Isaac de Casaubon, the great ecclesiastical scholar, says:
“It mightily affects me, to see how many there were in the earliest times of the church, who considered it as a capital exploit, to lend to heavenly truth the help of their own inventions, in order that the new doctrine might be more readily allowed by the wise among the Gentiles. These officious lies, they were wont to say, were devised for a good end.”[435:6]
The Apostolic Father, Hermas, who was the fellow-laborer of St. Paul in the work of the ministry; who is greeted as such in the New Testament; and whose writings are expressly quoted as of divine inspiration, by the early Fathers, ingenuously confesses that lying was the easily-besetting sin of a Christian. His words are:
“O Lord, I never spake a true word in my life, but I have always lived in dissimulation, and affirmed a lie for truth to all men, and no man contradicted me, but all gave credit to my words.”
To which the holy angel, whom he addresses, condescendingly admonishes him, that as the lie was up, now, he had better keep it up, and as in time it would come to be believed, it would answer as well as truth.[436:1]
Dr. Mosheim admits, that the Platonists and Pythagoreans held it as a maxim, that it was not only lawful, but praiseworthy, to deceive, and even to use the expedient of a lie, in order to advance the cause of truth and piety. The Jews who lived in Egypt, had learned and received this maxim from them, before the coming of Christ Jesus, as appears incontestably from a multitude of ancient records, and the Christians were infected from both these sources, with the same pernicious error.[436:2]
Of the fifteen letters ascribed to Ignatius (Bishop of Antioch after 69 C.E.), eight have been rejected by Christian writers as being forgeries, having no authority whatever. “The remaining seven epistles were accounted genuine by most critics, although disputed by some, previous to the discoveries of Mr. Cureton, which have shaken, and indeed almost wholly destroyed the credit and authenticity of all alike.”[436:3]
Paul of Tarsus, who was preaching a doctrine which had already been preached to many nation on earth,[436:4] inculcates and avows the principle of deceiving the common people, talks of his having been upbraided by his own converts with being crafty and catching them with guile,[436:5] and of his known and wilful lies, abounding to the glory of God.[436:6]
Even the orthodox Doctor Burnet, an eminent English author, in his treatise “De Statu Mortuorum,” purposely written in Latin, that it might serve for the instruction of the clergy only, and not come to the knowledge of the laity, because, as he said, “too much light is hurtful for weak eyes,” not only justified but recommended the practice of the most consummate hypocrisy, and would have his clergy seriously preach and maintain the reality and eternity of hell torments, even though they should believe nothing of the sort themselves.[437:1]
The incredible and very ridiculous stories related by Christian Fathers and ecclesiastical historians, on whom we are obliged to rely for information on the most important of subjects, show us how untrustworthy these men were. We have, for instance, the story related by St. Augustine, who is styled “the greatest of the Latin Fathers,” of his preaching the Gospel to people without heads. In his 33d Sermon he says:
“I was already Bishop of Hippo, when I went into Ethiopia with some servants of Christ there to preach the Gospel. In this country we saw many men and women without heads, who had two great eyes in their breasts; and in countries still more southly, we saw people who had but one eye in their foreheads.”[437:2]
This same holy Father bears an equally unquestionable testimony to several resurrections of the dead, of which he himself had been an eye-witness.
In a book written “towards the close of the second century, by some zealous believer,” and fathered upon one Nicodemus, who is said to have been a disciple of Christ Jesus, we find the following:
“We all know the blessed Simeon, the high priest, who took Jesus when an infant into his arms in the temple. This same Simeon had two sons of his own, and we were all present at their death and funeral. Go therefore and see their tombs, for these are open, and they are risen; and behold, they are in the city of Arimathaea, spending their time together in offices of devotion.”[438:1]
Eusebius, “the Father of ecclesiastical history,” Bishop of Caearea, and one of the most prominent personages at the Council of Nice, relates as truth, the ridiculous story of King Agbarus writing a letter to Christ Jesus, and of Jesus’ answer to the same.[438:2] And Socrates relates how the Empress Helen, mother of the Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem for the purpose of finding, if possible, “the cross of Christ.” This she succeeded in doing, also the nails with which he was nailed to the cross.[438:3]
Beside forging, lying, and deceiving for the cause of Christ, the Christian Fathers destroyed all evidence against themselves and their religion, which they came across. Christian divines seem to have always been afraid of too much light. In the very infancy of printing, Cardinal Wolsey foresaw its effect on Christianity, and in a speech to the clergy, publicly forewarned them, that, if they did not destroy the Press, the Press would destroy them.[438:4] There can be no doubt, that had the objections of Porphyry,[438:5] Hierocles,[438:6] Celsus,[438:7] and other opponents of the Christian faith, been permitted to come down to us, the plagiarism in the Christian Scriptures from previously existing Pagan documents, is the specific charge they would have presented us. But these were ordered to be burned, by the prudent piety of the Christian emperors.

3. Destruction of Evidence: Second Destruction of Library at Alexandria by Theophilus [Patriarch of Alexandria, 385-412 C.E] :

The history of this great Alexandrian library is one of the keys which unlock the door, and exposes to the view the manner in which the Hindu incarnate god Crishna [Krishna], and the meek and benevolent Buddha, came to be worshiped under the name of Christ Jesus as explained later.
In Alexandria, in Egypt, there was an immense library, founded by the Ptolemies. This library was situated in the Alexandrian Museum; the apartments which were allotted for it were beautifully sculptured, and crowded with the choicest statues and pictures; the building was built of marble. This library eventually comprised four hundred thousand volumes [400,000]. In the course of time, probably on account of inadequate accommodation for so many books, an additional library was established, and placed in the temple of Serapis. The number of volumes in this library, which was called the daughter of that in the museum, was eventually three hundred thousand. There were, therefore, seven hundred thousand [700,000] volumes in these royal collections.
In the establishment of the museum, Ptolemy Soter, and his son Philadelphus, had three objects in view: 1) The perpetuation of such knowledge as was then in the world; 2) Its increase; 3.) Its diffusion.
1). For the perpetuation of knowledge. Orders were given to the chief librarian to buy, at the king’s expense, whatever books he could. A body of transcribers was maintained in the museum, whose duty it was to make correct copies of such works as their owners were not disposed to sell. Any books brought by foreigners into Egypt were taken at once to the museum, and when correct copies had been made, the transcript was given to the owner, and the original placed in the library. Often a very large pecuniary indemnity was paid.
2). For the increase of knowledge. One of the chief objects of the museum was that of serving as the home of a body of men who devoted themselves to study, and were lodged and maintained at the king’s expense. In the original organization of the museum the residents were divided into four faculties,—Literature, Mathematics, Astronomy, and Medicine. An officer of very great distinction presided over the establishment, and had general charge of its interests. Demetius Phalareus, perhaps the most learned man of his age, who had been Governor of Athens for many years, was the first so appointed. Under him was the librarian, an office sometimes held by men whose names have descended to our times, as Eratosthenes and Apollonius Rhodius. In connection with the museum was a botanical and a zoological garden. These gardens, as their names imply, were for the purpose of facilitating the study of plants and animals. There was also an astronomical observatory, containing armillary spheres, globes, solstitial and equatorial armils, astrolabes, parallactic rules, and other apparatus then in use, the graduation on the divided instruments being into degrees and sixths.
3). For the diffusion of knowledge. In the museum was given, by lectures, conversation, or other appropriate methods, instruction in all the various departments of human knowledge.
There flocked to this great intellectual centre, students from all countries. It is said that at one time not fewer than fourteen thousand were in attendance. Subsequently even the Christian church received from it some of the most eminent of its Fathers, as Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, Athanasius.
The library in the museum was burned during the siege of Alexandria by Julius Caesar. To make amends for this great loss, the library collected by Eumenes, King of Pergamus, was presented by Mark Antony to Queen Cleopatra. Originally it was founded as a rival to that of the Ptolemies. It was added to the collection in the Serapion, or the temple of Serapis.[440:1]
It was not destined, however, to remain there many centuries, as this very valuable library was wilfully destroyed by the Christian Theophilus [Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412 C.E] and on the spot where this beautiful temple of Serapis stood, in fact, on its very foundation, was erected a church in honor of the “noble army of martyrs,” who had never existed.
This we learn from the historian Gibbon, who says that, after this library was destroyed, “the appearance of the empty shelves excited the regret and indignation of every spectator, whose mind was not totally darkened by religious prejudice.”[440:2]
The destruction of this library was almost the death-blow to free-thought—wherever Christianity ruled—for more than a thousand years.
The death-blow was soon to be struck, however, which was done by Saint Cyril, who succeeded Theophilus as Bishop of Alexandria.
Hypatia, the daughter of Theon, the mathematician, endeavoured to continue the old-time instructions. Each day before her academy stood a long train of chariots; her lecture-room was crowded with the wealth and fashion of Alexandria. They came to listen to her discourses on those questions which man in all ages has asked, but which have never yet been answered: “What am I? Where am I? What can I know?”
Hypatia and Cyril; philosophy and bigotry; they cannot exist together. As Hypatia repaired to her academy, she was assaulted by (Saint) Cyril’s mob—a mob of many monks. Stripped naked in the street, she was dragged into a church, and there killed by the club of Peter the Reader. The corpse was cut to pieces, the flesh was scraped from the bones with shells, and the remnants cast into a fire. For this frightful crime Cyril was never called to account. It seemed to be admitted that the end sanctified the means. So ended Greek philosophy in Alexandria, so came to an untimely close the learning that the Ptolemies had done so much to promote.
The fate of Hypatia was a warning to all who would cultivate profane knowledge. Henceforth there was to be no freedom for human thought. Every one must think as ecclesiastical authority ordered him;  C.E 414. In Athens itself philosophy awaited its doom. Justinian at length prohibited its teaching and caused all its schools in that city to be closed.[441:1]
After this followed the long and dreary dark ages, but the sun of science, that bright and glorious luminary, was destined to rise again.
The history of this great Alexandrian library is one of the keys which unlock the door, and exposes to our view the manner in which the Hindu incarnate god Crishna [Krishna], and the meek and benevolent Buddha, came to be worshiped under the name of Christ Jesus. For instance, we have just seen:
1. That, “orders were given to the chief librarian to buy at the king’s expense whatever books he could.”
2. That, “one of the chief objects of the museum was that of serving as the home of a body of men who devoted themselves to study.”
3. That, “any books brought by foreigners into Egypt were taken at once to the museum and correct copies made.”
4. That, “there flocked to this great intellectual centre students from all countries.”
5. That, “the Christian church received from it some of the most eminent of its Fathers.”
And also:
6. That, the chief doctrines of the Gnostic Christians “had been held for centuries before their time in many of the cities in Asia Minor. There, it is probable, they first came into existence as ‘Mystæ,’ upon the establishment of a direct intercourse with India under the Seleucidae and the Ptolemies.”
7. That, “the College of ESSENES at Ephesus, the Orphics of Thrace, the Curetes of Crete, are all merely branches of one antique and common religion, and that originally Asiatic.”
8. That, “the introduction of Buddhism into Egypt and Palestine affords the only true solution of innumerable difficulties in the history of religion.”
9. That, “Buddhism had actually been planted in the dominions of the Seleucidae and Ptolemies (Palestine belonging to the former) before the beginning of the third century B. C. and is proved to demonstration by a passage in the edicts of Ashoka.” [Ashoka (304–232 BC) was a great Indian King who converted to Buddhism, made it world religion.]
10. That, “it is very likely that the commentaries (Scriptures) which were among them (the Essenes) were the Gospels.”
11. That, “the principal doctrines and rites of the Essenes can be connected with the East, with Parsism [ Zoroastrians ], and especially with Buddhism.”
12. That, “among the doctrines which the Essenes and Buddhists had in common was that of the Angel-Messiah.”
13. That, “they (the Essenes) had a flourishing university or corporate body, established at Alexandria, in Egypt, long before the period assigned for the birth of Christ.”
14. That, “the very ancient and Eastern doctrine of the Angel-Messiah had been applied to Gautama Buddha, and so it was applied to Jesus Christ by the Essenes of Egypt and Palestine, who introduced this new Messianic doctrine into Essenic Judaism and Essenic Christianity.”
15. That, “we hear very little of them (the Essenes) after 40 C.E ; and there can hardly be any doubt that the Essenes as a body must have embraced Christianity.”
Here is the solution of the problem. The sacred books of Hindus and Buddhists were among the Essenes, and in the library at Alexandria. The Essenes, who were afterwards called Christians, applied the legend of the Angel-Messiah—”the very ancient Eastern doctrine,” which we have shown throughout this work—to Christ Jesus. It was simply a transformation of names, a transformation which had previously occurred in many cases.[442:1] After this came additions to the legend from other sources. Portions of the legends related of the Persian, Greek and Roman Saviours and Redeemers of mankind, were, from time to time, added to the already legendary history of the Christian Saviour. Thus history was repeating itself. Thus the virgin-born God and Saviour, worshiped by all nations of the earth, though called by different names, was but one and the same.
In a separate chapter we shall see who this One God was, and how the myth originated.
Albert Revillé says:
“Alexandria, the home of Philonism, and Neo-Platonism (and we might add Essenism), was naturally the centre whence spread the dogma of the deity of Jesus Christ. In that city, through the third century, flourished a school of transcendental theology, afterwards looked upon with suspicion by the conservators of ecclesiastical doctrine, but not the less the real cradle of orthodoxy. It was still the Platonic tendency which influenced the speculations of Clement, Origen and Dionysius, and the theory of the Logos was at the foundation of their theology.”[443:1]
Among the numerous gospels in circulation among the Christians of the first three centuries, there was one entitled “The Gospel of the Egyptians.” Epiphanius (385 C.E), speaking of it, says:
“Many things are proposed (in this Gospel of the Egyptians) in a hidden, mysterious manner, as by our Saviour, as though he had said to his disciples, that the Father was the same person, the Son the same person, and the Holy Ghost the same person.”
That this was one of the “Scriptures” of the Essenes becomes very evident when we find it admitted by the most learned of Christian theologians that it was in existence “before either of the canonical Gospels,” and that it contained the doctrine of the Trinity, a doctrine not established in the Christian church until 327 C.E, but which was taught by this Buddhist sect in Alexandria, in Egypt, which has been well called, “Egypt, the land of Trinities.”
The learned Dr. Grabe thought it was composed by some Christians in Egypt, and that it was published before either of the canonical Gospels. Dr. Mill also believed that it was composed before either of the canonical Gospels, and, what is more important than all, that the authors of it were Essenes.
These “Scriptures” of the Essenes were undoubtedly amalgamated with the “Gospels” of the Christians, the result being the canonical Gospels as we now have them. The “Gospel of the Hebrews,” and such like, on the one hand, and the “Gospel of the Egyptians,” or Essenes, and such like, on the other. That the “Gospel of the Hebrews” spoke of Jesus of Nazareth as the son of Joseph and Mary, according to the flesh, and that it taught nothing about his miracles, his resurrection from the dead, and other such prodigies, is admitted on all hands. That the “Scriptures” of the Essenes contained the whole legend of the Angel-Messiah, which was afterwards added to the history of Jesus, making him a CHRIST, or an Anointed Angel, is a probability almost to a certainty. Do we now understand how all the traditions and legends, originally Indian, escaping from the great focus through Egypt, were able to reach Judea, Greece and Rome?

4. Coercion & Excessive Persecution:

To continue with our subject, “why Christianity prospered,” we must now consider another great support to the cause, i. e., Persecution. Ernest de Bunsen, speaking of Buddha, says:
“His religion has never been propagated by the sword. It has been affected entirely by the influence of peaceable and persevering devotees.”
Can we say as much for what is termed “the religion of Christ?” No! this religion has had the aid of the sword and firebrand, the rack and the thumb-screw. “Persecution,” is to be seen written on the pages of ecclesiastical history, from the time of Constantine [272-337 C.E] even to the present day.[444:1] This Christian emperor and saint was the first to check free-thought.
“We search in vain,” (says M. Renan), “in the collection of Roman laws before Constantine, for any enactment aimed at free thought, or in the history of the emperors, for a persecution of abstract doctrine. Not a single savant was disturbed. Men whom the Middle Ages would have burned—such as Galen, Lucian, Plotinus—lived in peace, protected by the law.”[444:2]
Born and educated a pagan, Emperor Constantine embraced the Christian faith with ulterior motives. Having committed horrid crimes, in fact, having committed murders,[444:3] and,
“When he would have had his (Pagan) priests purge him by sacrifice, of these horrible murders, and could not have his purpose (for they answered plainly, it lay not in their power to cleanse him)[444:4] he lighted at last upon an Egyptian who came out of Iberia, and being persuaded by him that the Christian faith was of force to wipe away every sin, were it ever so heinous, he embraced willingly at whatever the Egyptian told him.”[444:5]
[NOTE.—The learned Christian historian Pagi endeavours to smooth over the crimes of Constantine. He says: “As for those few murders (which Eusebius says nothing about), had he thought it worth his while to refer to them, he would perhaps, with Baronius himself have said, that the young Licinius (his infant nephew), although the fact might not generally have been known, had most likely been an accomplice in the treason of his father. That as to the murder of his son, the Emperor is rather to be considered as unfortunate than as criminal. And with respect to his putting his wife to death, he ought to be pronounced rather a just and righteous judge. As for his numerous friends, whom Eutropius informs us he put to death one after another, we are bound to believe that most of them deserved it, and they were found out to have abused the Emperor’s too great credulity, for the gratification of their own inordinate wickedness, and insatiable avarice; and such no doubt was that SOPATER the philosopher, who was at last put to death upon the accusation of Adlabius, and that by the righteous dispensation of God, for his having attempted to alienate the mind of Constantine from the true religion.” (Pagi Ann. 324, quoted in Latin by Dr. Lardner, vol. iv. p. 371, in his notes for the benefit of the learned reader, but gives no rendering into English.)]
Mons. Dupuis, speaking of this conversion, says:
“Constantine, soiled with all sorts of crimes, and stained with the blood of his wife, after repeated perjuries and assassinations, presented himself before the heathen priests in order to be absolved of so many outrages he had committed. He was answered, that amongst the various kinds of expiations, there was none which could expiate so many crimes, and that no religion whatever could offer efficient protection against the justice of the gods; and Constantine was emperor. One of the courtiers of the palace, who witnessed the trouble and agitation of his mind, torn by remorse, which nothing could appease, informed him, that the evil he was suffering was not without a remedy; that there existed in the religion of the Christians certain purifications, which expiated every kind of misdeeds, of whatever nature, and in whatsoever number they were: that one of the promises of the religion was, that whoever was converted to it, as impious and as great a villain as he might be, could hope that his crimes were immediately forgotten.[445:1] From that moment, Constantine declared himself the protector of a sect which treats great criminals with so much lenity.[445:2] He was a great villain, who tried to lull himself with illusions to smother his remorse.”[445:3]
By the delay of baptism, a person who had accepted the true faith could venture freely to indulge their passions in the enjoyment of this world, while they still retained in their own hands the means of salvation; therefore, we find that Constantine, although he accepted the faith, did not get baptized until he was on his death-bed, as he wished to continue, as long as possible, the wicked life he was leading. Mr. Gibbon, speaking of him, says:
“The example and reputation of Constantine seemed to countenance the delay of baptism. Future tyrants were encouraged to believe, that the innocent blood which they might shed in a long reign would instantly be washed away in the waters of regeneration; and the abuse of religion dangerously undermined the foundations of moral virtue.”[445:4]
Eusebius, in his “Life of Constantine,” tells us that:
“When he thought that he was near his death, he confessed his sins, desiring pardon for them of God, and was baptized.
“Before doing so, he assembled the bishops of Nicomedia together, and spake thus unto them:
“‘Brethren, the salvation which I have earnestly desired of God these many years, I do now this day expect. It is time therefore that we should be sealed and signed with the badge of immortality. And though I proposed to receive it in the river Jordan, in which our Saviour for our example was baptized, yet God, knowing what is fittest for me, hath appointed that I shall receive it in this place, therefore let me not be delayed.'”
“And so, after the service of baptism was read, they baptized him with all the ceremonies belonging to this mysterious sacrament. So that Constantine was the first of all the emperors who was regenerated by the new birth of baptism, and that was signed with the sign of the cross.”[446:1]
When Constantine had heard the good news from the Christian monk from Egypt, he commenced by conferring many dignities on the Christians, and those only who were addicted to Christianity, he made governors of his provinces.[446:2] He then issued edicts against heretics,—i. e., those who, like Arius, did not believe that Christ was “of one substance with the Father,” and others—calling them “enemies of truth and eternal life,” “authors and councillors of death,” [446:3] He “commanded by law” that none should dare “to meet at conventiclers,” and that “all places where they were wont to keep their meetings should be demolished,” or “confiscated to the Catholic church;”[446:4] and Constantine was emperor. “By this means,” says Eusebius, “such as maintained doctrines and opinions contrary to the church, were suppressed.”[446:5]
This Constantine, says Eusebius:
“Caused his image to be engraven on his gold coins, in the form of prayer, with his hands joined together, and looking up towards Heaven.” “And over divers gates of his palace, he was drawn praying, and lifting up his hands and eyes to heaven.”[446:6]
After his death, “effigies of this blessed man” were engraved on the Roman coins, “sitting in and driving a chariot, and a hand reached down from heaven to receive and take him up.”[446:7]
The hopes of wealth and honours, the example of an emperor, his exhortations, his irresistible smiles, diffused conviction among  the venal and obsequious crowds which usually fill the apartments of a palace, and as the lower ranks of society are governed by example, the conversion of those who possessed any eminence of birth, of power, or of riches, was soon followed by dependent multitudes. Constantine passed a law which gave freedom to all the slaves who should embrace Christianity, and to those who were not slaves, he gave a white garment and twenty pieces of gold, upon their embracing the Christian faith. The common people were thus purchased at such an easy rate that, in one year, twelve thousand men were baptised at Rome, besides a proportional number of women and children.[447:1]
To suppress the opinions of philosophers, which were contrary to Christianity, the Christian emperors published edicts. The respective decrees of the emperors Constantine and Theodosius,[447:2] generally ran in the words; “That all writings adverse to the claims of the Christian religion, in the possession of whomsoever they should be found, should be committed to the fire,” as the pious emperors would not that those things tending to provoke God to wrath, should be allowed to offend the minds of the piously disposed.
The following is a decree of the Emperor Theodosius of this purport:
“We decree, therefore, that all writings, whatever, which Porphyry or anyone else hath written against the Christian religion, in the possession of whomsoever they shall be found should be committed to the fire; for we would not suffer any of those things so much as to come to men’s ears, which tend to provoke God to wrath and offend the minds of the pious.”[447:3]
A similar decree of the emperor for establishing the doctrine of the Trinity, concludes with an admonition to all who shall object to it, that,
“Besides the condemnation of divine justice, they must expect to suffer the severe penalties, which our authority, guided by heavenly wisdom, may think proper to inflict upon them.”[447:4]
This orthodox emperor (Theodosius, 379 – 395 C.E) considered every heretic (as he called those who did not believe as he and his ecclesiastics professed) a rebel against the supreme powers of heaven and of [earth (he being one of the supreme powers of earth), and each of the powers might exercise their peculiar jurisdiction over the soul and body of the guilty.
The decrees of the Council of Constantinople had ascertained the true standard of the faith, and the ecclesiastics, who governed the conscience of Theodosius, suggested the most effectual methods of persecution. In the space of fifteen years he promulgated at least fifteen severe edicts against the heretics, more especially against those who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity.[448:1]
Arius [presbyter (256 – 336) in Alexandria, declared that, in the nature of things, a father must be older than his son] was excommunicated for his so-called heretical notions concerning the Trinity. His followers, who were very numerous, were called Arians. Their writings, if they had been permitted to exist,[448:2] would undoubtedly contain the lamentable story of the persecution which affected the church under the reign of the impious Emperor Theodosius.
In Asia Minor the people were persecuted by orders of Constantius, and these orders were more than obeyed by Macedonius. The civil and military powers were ordered to obey his commands; the consequence was, he disgraced the reign of Constantius. “The rites of baptism were conferred on women and children, who, for that purpose, had been torn from the arms of their friends and parents; the mouths of the communicants were held open by a wooden engine, while the consecrated bread was forced down their throats; the breasts of tender virgins were either burned with red-hot egg-shells, or inhumanly compressed between sharp and heavy boards.”[448:3] The principal assistants of Macedonius—the tool of Constantius—in the work of persecution, were the two bishops of Nicomedia and Cyzicus, who were esteemed for their virtues, and especially for their charity.[448:4]
Julian, the successor of Constantius, has described some of the theological calamities which afflicted the empire, and more especially in the East, in the reign of a prince who was the slave of his own passions, and of those of his eunuchs: “Many were imprisoned, and persecuted, and driven into exile. Whole troops of those who are styled heretics were massacred, particularly at Cyzicus, and at Samosata. In Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Gallatia, and in many other provinces, towns and villages were laid waste, and utterly destroyed.”[449:1]
Persecution of Norwegians & Heathens to accept Christianity:
Persecutions in the name of Christ Jesus were inflicted on the heathen in most every part of the then known world. Even among the Norwegians, the Christian sword was unsheathed. They clung tenaciously to the worship of their forefathers, and numbers of them died real martyrs for their faith, after suffering the cruelest torments from their persecutors. It was by sheer compulsion that the Norwegians embraced Christianity. The reign of Olaf Tryggvason, a Christian king of Norway (995-1000 C.E. ), was in fact entirely devoted to the propagation of the new faith, by means the most revolting to humanity. His general practice was to enter a district at the head of a formidable force, summon a Thing,[449:2] and give the people the alternative of fighting with him, or of being baptized. Most of them, of course, preferred baptism to the risk of a battle with an adversary so well prepared for combat; and the recusants were tortured to death with fiend-like ferocity, and their estates confiscated.[449:3]
Wikipedia mentions: “Several instances of Olaf’s attempts lead to days of remembrance amongst modern heathens similar manner to feast days of martyred Christian saints. Raud the Strong (remembered January 9) refused to convert and, after a failed attempt using a wooden pin to pry open his mouth to insert a snake, was killed by a snake goaded by a hot poker through a drinking horn into Raud’s mouth and down his throat. Eyvind Kinnrifi (February 9) likewise refused and was killed by a brazier of hot coals resting on his belly. The possibly apocryphal figure, Sigrid the Haughty (November 9), was said to have refused to marry Olaf if it meant forgoing her forefather’s religion upon which Olaf slapped her with his glove, an act that prompted her to unite his enemies against him some years later.”

Conclusion:

Despite obliteration efforts, the affinity of Buddha, Essences and Christianity can still be traced historically. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica: “The name Buddha is mentioned for the first time in Christian literature–and there only once — by Clement of Alexandria about AD 200; and it vanished after that from Christian literature for a full 1,300 years. The Apologists from the 2nd to the 5th centuries used legend and myth. Clement of Alexandria employed them as allegories to make Christian concepts intelligible to Greek converts.” It further adds: “It is possible that through the centuries the vast majority of believers have not used the term ‘essence’ to describe the central focus of their faith. The term is itself of Greek origin and thus represents only one part of the tradition, one element in the terms that have gone into making up Christianity. The search for an ‘essence’ may be more urgent for philosophers, theologians (who interpret the language of the believing community), or historians than it is for the regular believers who do not share the burden of scholars. ‘Essence’ refers to those qualities that give something its identity and are at the centre of what makes that thing different from everything else. To Greek philosophers it meant something intrinsic to and inherent in a thing or category of things, which gave it its character and thus separated it from everything of different character. Thus Jesus Christ belongs to the essential character of Christianity and gives it identity in the same way that Buddha does for Buddhism.”
After formulating the new religion with the label of Jesus Christ, next phase was propagation. Beside forging, lying, and deceiving for the cause of Christ, the Christian Fathers destroyed all evidence against themselves and their religion, which they came across. It was a Catholic opinion among the philosophers, that pious frauds were good things, and that the people ought to be imposed on in matters of religion.”[435:4] Christian divines seem to have always been afraid of too much light. In the very infancy of printing, Cardinal Wolsey foresaw its effect on Christianity, and in a speech to the clergy, publicly forewarned them, that, if they did not destroy the Press, the Press would destroy them.[438:4] To suppress the opinions of philosophers, which were contrary to Christianity, the Christian emperors published edicts. Persecution was legitimised to expand the new faith. The respective decrees of the emperors Constantine and Theodosius,[447:2] generally ran in the words; “That all writings adverse to the claims of the Christian religion, in the possession of whomsoever they should be found, should be committed to the fire,” “Besides the condemnation of divine justice, they must expect to suffer the severe penalties, which our authority, guided by heavenly wisdom, may think proper to inflict upon them.”[447:4]
Persecutions in the name of Christ Jesus were inflicted on the heathen in most every part of the then known world. Even among the Norwegians, the Christian sword was unsheathed. Many died for their faith, after suffering the cruelest torments from their persecutors. It was by sheer compulsion that the Norwegians embraced Christianity. The reign of Olaf Tryggvason, a Christian king of Norway (995-1000 C.E. ), was in fact entirely devoted to the propagation of the new faith, by means the most revolting to humanity.
Paradoxically, the end of “established Christianity” in the old sense resulted in the most rapid and most widespread expansion in the history of the church. The Christianization of the Americas and the evangelization of Asia, Africa, and Australasia for the first time gave geographic substance to the Christian title “ecumenical.” Much of the evangelization appeared to be an integral part of military conquest. Growth in areas and in numbers, however, need not be equivalent to growth in influence. The original methodology of oppression and persecution was supplemented with new techniques of education, charity and other social welfare services. Missionaries working with Red Cross and other NGOs [Non Governmental organizations] in war and calamity hit areas are first visible to be noticed busy in noble works. Despite its continuing strength throughout the modern period, Christianity retreated on many fronts and lost much of its prestige and authority both politically and intellectually. Free flow of information has opened new avenues to the people; now its difficult to convince that 1+1+1=1 not 3. Some straightaway turn to atheism while those who take a deep look find Islam as rationally acceptable.

FOOTNOTES:

[419:1]”Numerous bodies of ascetics (Therapeutæ), especially near Lake Mareotis, devoted themselves to discipline and study, abjuring society and labor, and often forgetting, it is said, the simplest wants of nature, in contemplating the hidden wisdom of the Scriptures. Eusebius even claimed them as Christians; and some of the forms of monasticism were evidently modeled after the Therapeutæ.” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary, art. “Alexandria.”)
[420:1]Comp. Matt. vi. 33; Luke, xii. 31.
[420:2]Comp. Matt. vi. 19-21.
[420:3]Comp. Matt. xix. 21; Luke, xii. 33.
[420:4]Comp. Acts, ii. 44, 45; iv. 32-34; John, xii. 6; xiii. 29.
[420:5]Comp. Matt. xx. 25-28; Mark, ix. 35-37; x. 42-45.
[420:6]Comp. Matt. xxiii. 8-10.
[420:7]Comp. Matt. v. 5; xi. 29.
[420:8]Comp. Mark, xvi. 17; Matt. x. 8; Luke, ix. 1, 2; x. 9.
[420:9]Comp. Matt. v. 34.
[420:10]Comp. Matt. x. 9, 10.
[421:1]Comp. Luke, xxii. 36.
[421:2]Comp. Matt. xix. 10-12; I. Cor. viii.
[421:3]Comp. Rom. xii. 1.
[421:4]Comp. I. Cor. xiv. 1, 39.
[421:5]The above comparisons have been taken from Ginsburg’s “Essenes,” to which the reader is referred for a more lengthy observation on the subject.
[421:6]Ginsburg’s Essenes, p. 24.
[421:7]”We hear very little of them after A. D. 40; and there can hardly be any doubt that, owing to the great similarity existing between their precepts and practices and those of primitive Christians, the Essenes as a body must have embraced Christianity.” (Dr. Ginsburg, p. 27.)
[422:1]This will be alluded to in another chapter.
[422:2]It was believed by some that the order of Essenes was instituted by Elias, and some writers asserted that there was a regular succession of hermits upon Mount Carmel from the time of the prophets to that of Christ, and that the hermits embraced Christianity at an early period. (See Ginsburgh’s Essenes, and Hardy’s Eastern Monachism, p. 358.)
[422:3]King’s Gnostics and their Remains, p. 1.
[422:4]Ibid. p. 6.
[422:5]King’s Gnostics, p. 23.
[422:6]Eusebius: Eccl. Hist., lib. 2, ch. xvii.
[423:1]Eusebius: Eccl. Hist., lib. 2, ch. xvii.
[423:2]Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. vii. “The New Testament is the Essene-Nazarene Glad Tidings! Adon, Adoni, Adonis, style of worship.” (S. F. Dunlap: Son of the Man, p. iii.)
[423:3]Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 747; vol. ii. p. 34.
[423:4]”In this,” says Mr. Lillie, “he was supported by philosophers of the calibre of Schilling and Schopenhauer, and the great Sanscrit authority, Lassen. Renan also sees traces of this Buddhist propagandism in Palestine before the Christian era. Hilgenfeld, Mutter, Bohlen, King, all admit the Buddhist influence. Colebrooke saw a striking similarity between the Buddhist philosophy and that of the Pythagoreans. Dean Milman was convinced that the Therapeuts sprung from the ‘contemplative and indolent fraternities’ of India.” And, he might have added, the Rev. Robert Taylor in his “Diegesis,” and Godfrey Higgins in his “Anacalypsis,” have brought strong arguments to bear in support of this theory.
[424:1]Buddha and Early Buddhism, p. vi.
[424:2]Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 121.
[424:3]Ibid. p. 240.
[425:1]”The Essenes abounded in Egypt, especially about Alexandria.” (Eusebius: Eccl. Hist., lib. 2, ch. xvii.)
[425:2]Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 255.
[426:1]Rhys Davids’ Buddhism, p. 179.
[426:2]This is clearly shown by Mr. Higgins in his Anacalypsis. It should be remembered that Gautama Buddha, the “Angel-Messiah,” and Cyrus, the “Anointed” of the Lord, are placed about six hundred years before Jesus, the “Anointed.” This cycle of six hundred years was called the “great year.” Josephus, the Jewish historian, alludes to it when speaking of the patriarchs that lived to a great age. “God afforded them a longer time of life,” says he, “on account of their virtue, and the good use they made of it in astronomical and geometrical discoveries, which would not have afforded the time for foretelling (the periods of the stars), unless they had lived six hundred years; for the great year is completed in that interval.” (Josephus, Antiq., bk. i. c. iii.) “From this cycle of six hundred,” says Col. Vallancey, “came the name of the bird Phœnix, called by the Egyptians Phenu, with the well-known story of its going to Egypt to burn itself on the altar of the Sun (at Heliopolis) and rise again from its ashes, at the end of a certain period.”
[426:3]”Philo’s writings prove the probability, almost rising to a certainty, that already in his time the Essenes did expect an Angel-Messiah as one of a series of divine incarnations. Within about fifty years after Philo’s death, Elkesai the Essene probably applied this doctrine to Jesus, and it was promulgated in Rome about the same time, if not earlier, by the Pseudo-Clementines.” (Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 118.)
“There was, at this time (i. e., at the time of the birth of Jesus), a prevalent expectation that some remarkable personage was about to appear in Judea. The Jews were anxiously looking for the coming of the Messiah. By computing the time mentioned by Daniel (ch. ix. 23-27), they knew that the period was approaching when the Messiah should appear. This personage, they supposed, would be a temporal prince, and they were expecting that he would deliver them from Roman bondage. It was natural that this expectation should spread into other countries.” (Barnes’ Notes, vol. i. p. 27.)
[427:1]Hist. Hindostan, vol. ii. p. 273.
[427:2]See Lardner’s Works, vol. viii. p. 353.
[427:3]Apol. 1, ch. xxvi.
[428:1]See Lardner’s Works, vol. viii. p. 593.
[428:2]Socrates: Eccl. Hist., lib. i. ch. xvii.
[429:1]Eusebius: Eccl. Hist., lib. 3, ch. xxiii.
[429:2]Ibid. lib. 7, ch. xxx.
[429:3]The death of Manes, according to Socrates, was as follows: The King of Persia, hearing that he was in Mesopotamia, “made him to be apprehended, flayed him alive, took his skin, filled it full of chaff, and hanged it at the gates of the city.” (Eccl. Hist., lib. 1, ch. xv.)
[430:1]Plato in Apolog. Anac., ii. p. 189.
[431:1]Mark, xiii. 21, 22.
[432:1]Geikie: Life of Christ, vol. i. p. 79.
[433:1]Frothingham’s Cradle of the Christ.
[433:2]”The prevailing opinion of the Rabbis and the people alike, in Christ’s day, was, that the Messiah would be simply a great prince, who should found a kingdom of matchless splendor.” “With a few, however, the conception of the Messiah’s kingdom was pure and lofty. . . . Daniel, and all who wrote after him, painted the ‘Expected One’ as a heavenly being. He was the ‘messenger,’ the ‘Elect of God,’ appointed from eternity, to appear in due time, and redeem his people.” (Geikie’s Life of Christ, vol. i. pp. 80, 81.)
In the book of Daniel, by some supposed to have been written during the captivity, by others as late as Antiochus Epiphanes (B. C. 75), the restoration of the Jews is described in tremendous language, and the Messiah is portrayed as a supernatural personage, in close relation with Jehovah himself. In the book of Enoch, supposed to have been written at various intervals between 144 and 120 (B. C.) and to have been completed in its present form in the first half of the second century that preceded the advent of Jesus, the figure of the Messiah is invested with superhuman attributes. He is called “The Son of God,” “whose name was spoken before the Sun was made;” “who existed from the beginning in the presence of God,” that is, was pre-existent. At the same time his human characteristics are insisted on. He is called “Son of Man,” even “Son of Woman,” “The Anointed” or “The Christ,” “The Righteous One,” &c. (Frothingham: The Cradle of the Christ, p. 20.)
[433:3]This is clearly seen from the statement made by the Matthew narrator (xvii. 9-13) that the disciples of Christ Jesus supposed John the Baptist was Elias.
[434:1]Isaiah, xlv. 1.
[434:2]Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 17.
[434:3]Quoted in Middleton’s Letters from Rome, p. 51.
[434:4]Hieron ad Nep. Quoted Volney’s Ruins, p. 177, note.
[434:5]See his Eccl. Hist., viii. 21.
[435:1]Gibbon’s Rome, vol. ii. pp. 79, 80.
[435:2]”On voit dans l’histoire que j’ai rapportée une sorte d’hypocrisie, qui n’a peut-être été que trop commune dans tous les tems. C’est que des ecclésiastiques, non-seulement ne disent pas ce qu’ils pensent, mais disent tout le contraire de ce qu’ils pensent. Philosophes dans leur cabinet, hors delà, ils content des fables, quoiqu’ils sachent bien que ce sont des fables. Ils font plus; ils livrent au bourreau des gens de biens, pour l’avoir dit. Combiens d’athées et de profanes ont fait brûler de saints personnages, sous prétexte d’hérésie? Tous les jours des hypocrites, consacrent et font adorer l’hostie, bien qu’ils soient aussi convaincus que moi, que ce n’est qu’un morceau de pain.” (Tom. 2, p. 568.)
[435:3]On the Use of the Fathers, pp. 36, 37.
[435:4]Quoted in Taylor‘s Syntagma, p. 170.
[435:5]Mosheim: vol. 1, p. 198.
[435:6]”Postremo illud quoque me vehementer movet, quod videam primis ecclesiæ temporibus, quam plurimos extitisse, qui facinus palmarium judicabant, cælestem veritatem, figmentis suis ire adjutum, quo facilius nova doctrina a gentium sapientibus admitteretur Officiosa hæc mendacia vocabant bono fine exeogitata.” (Quoted in Taylor’s Diegesis, p. 44, and Giles’ Hebrew and Christian Records, vol. ii. p. 19.)
[436:1]See the Vision of Hermas, b. 2, c. iii.
[436:2]Mosheim, vol. i. p. 197. Quoted in Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 47.
[436:3]Dr. Giles: Hebrew and Christian Records, vol. ii. p. 99.
[436:4]”Continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” (Colossians, i. 23.)
[436:5]”Being crafty, I caught you with guile.” (II. Cor. xii. 16.)
[436:6]”For if the truth of God had more abounded through my lie unto his glory, why yet am I also judged as a sinner.” (Romans, iii. 7.)
[437:1]”Si me tamen audire velis, mallem te pænas has dicere indefinitas quam infinitas. Sed veniet dies, cum non minus absurda, habebitur et odiosa hæc opinio quam transubstantiatio hodie.” (De Statu Mort., p. 304. Quoted in Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 43.)
[437:2]Quoted in Taylor‘s Syntagma, p. 52.
Among the ancients, there were many stories current of countries, the inhabitants of which were of peculiar size, form or features. Our Christian saint evidently believed these tales, and thinking thus, sought to make others believe them. We find the following examples related by Herodotus: “Aristeas, son of Caystrobius, a native of Proconesus, says in his epic verses that, inspired by Apollo, he came to the Issedones; that beyond the Issedones dwell the Arimaspians, a people that have only one eye.” (Herodotus, book iv. ch. 13.) “When one has passed through a considerable extent of the rugged country (of the Seythians), a people are found living at the foot of lofty mountains, who are said to be all bald from their birth, both men and women alike, and they are flat-nosed, and have large chins.” (Ibid. ch. 23.) “These bald men say, what to me is incredible, that men with goat’s feet inhabit these mountains; and when one has passed beyond them, other men are found, who sleep six months at a time, but this I do not at all admit.” (Ibid. ch. 24.) In the country westward of Libya, “there are enormous serpents, and lions, elephants, bears, asps, and asses with horns, and monsters with dog’s heads and without heads, who have eyes in their breasts, at least, as the Libyans say, and wild men and wild women, and many other wild beasts which are not fabulous.” (Ibid. ch. 192.)
[438:1]Nicodemus, Apoc., ch. xii.
[438:2]See Eusebius: Eccl. Hist., lib. 1, ch. xiv.
[438:3]Socrates: Eccl. Hist., lib. 1, ch. xiii.
[438:4]In year 1444, Caxton published the first book ever printed in England. In 1474, the then Bishop of London, in a convocation of his clergy, said: “If we do not destroy this dangerous invention, it will one day destroy us.” (See Middleton’s Letters from Rome, p. 4.) The reader should compare this with Pope Leo X.’s avowal that, “it is well known how profitable this fable of Christ has been to us;” and Archdeacon Paley’s declaration that “he could ill afford to have a conscience.”
[438:5]Porphyry, who flourished about the year 270 A. D., a man of great abilities, published a large work of fifteen books against the Christians. “His objections against Christianity,” says Dr. Lardner, “were in esteem with Gentile people for a long while; and the Christians were not insensible of the importance of his work; as may be concluded from the several answers made to it by Eusebius, and others in great repute for learning.” (Vol. viii. p. 158.) There are but fragments of these fifteen books remaining, Christian magistrates having ordered them to be destroyed. (Ibid.)
[438:6]Hierocles was a Neo-Platonist, who lived at Alexandria about the middle of the fifth century, and enjoyed a great reputation. He was the author of a great number of works, a few extracts of which alone remain.
[438:7]Celsus was an Epicurean philosopher, who lived in the second century A. D. He wrote a work called “The True Word,” against Christianity, but as it has been destroyed we know nothing about it. Origen claims to give quotations from it.
[440:1]Draper: Religion and Science, pp. 18-21.
[440:2]Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. p. 146.
[441:1]Draper: Religion and Science, pp. 55, 56. See also, Socrates’ Eccl. Hist., lib. 7, ch. xv.
[442:1]We have seen this particularly in the cases of Crishna and Buddha. Mr. Cox, speaking of the former, says: “If it be urged that the attribution to Crishna of qualities or powers belonging to the other deities is a mere device by which his devotees sought to supersede the more ancient gods, the answer must be that nothing has been done in his case which has not been done in the case of almost every other member of the great company of the gods.” (Aryan Mythology, vol. ii. p. 130.) These words apply to the case we have before us. Jesus was simply attributed with the qualities or powers which had been previously attributed to other deities. This we hope to be able to fully demonstrate in our chapter on “Explanation.”
[443:1]”Dogma of the Deity of Jesus Christ,” p. 41.
[444:1]Adherents of the old religion of Russia have been persecuted in that country within the past year, and even in enlightened England, a gentleman has been persecuted by government officials because he believes in neither a personal God or a personal Devil.
[444:2]Renan, Hibbert Lectures, p. 22.
[444:3]The following are the names of his victims:
Maximian,  His wife’s father,           A. D. 310
Bassianus, His sister’s husband,   A. D. 314
Licinius,     His nephew,                  A. D. 319
Fausta,       His wife,     A. D. 320
Sopater,     His former friend,         A. D. 321
Licinius,     His sister’s husband,   A. D. 325
Crispus,     His own son,                 A. D. 326
Dr. Lardner, in speaking of the murders committed by this Christian saint, is constrained to say that: “The death of Crispus is altogether without any good excuse, so likewise is the death of the young Licinianus, who could not have been more than a little above eleven years of age, and appears not to have been charged with any fault, and could hardly be suspected of any.”
[444:4]The Emperor Nero could not be baptized and be initiated into Pagan Mysteries—as Constantine was initiated into those of the Christians—on account of the murder of his mother. And he did not dare to compel—which he certainly could have done—the priests to initiate him.
[444:5]Zosimus, in Socrates, lib. iii. ch. xl.
[445:1]”The sacrament of baptism was supposed to contain a full and absolute expiation of sin; and the soul was instantly restored to its original purity and entitled to the promise of eternal salvation. Among the proselytes of Christianity, there were many who judged it imprudent to precipitate a salutary rite, which could not be repeated. By the delay of their baptism, they could venture freely to indulge their passions in the enjoyments of this world, while they still retained in their own hands the means of a sure and speedy absolution.” (Gibbon: ii. pp. 272, 273.)
[445:2]”Constantine, as he was praying about noon-tide, God showed him a vision in the sky, which was the sign of the cross lively figured in the air, with this inscription on it: ‘In hoc vince;’ that is, ‘By this overcome.'” This is the story as related by Eusebius (Life of Constantine, lib. 1, ch. xxii.), but it must be remembered that Eusebius acknowledged that he told falsehoods. That night Christ appeared unto Constantine in his dream, and commanded him to make the figure of the cross which he had seen, and to wear it in his banner when he went to battle with his enemies. (See Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, lib. 1, ch. xxiii. See also, Socrates: Eccl. Hist., lib. 1, ch. ii.)
[445:3]Dupuis, p. 405.
[445:4]Gibbon’s Rome, vol. ii. p. 373. The Fathers, who censured this criminal delay, could not deny the certain and victorious efficacy even of a death-bed baptism. The ingenious rhetoric of Chrysostom (A. D. 347-407) could find only three arguments against these prudent Christians. 1. “That we should love and pursue virtue for her own sake, and not merely for the reward. 2. That we may be surprised by death without an opportunity of baptism. 3. That although we shall be placed in heaven, we shall only twinkle like little stars, when compared to the suns of righteousness who have run their appointed course with labor, with success, and with glory.” (Chrysostom in Epist. ad Hebræos. Homil. xiii. Quoted in Gibbon’s “Rome,” ii. 272.)
[446:1]Lib. 4, chs. lxi. and lxii., and Socrates: Eccl. Hist., lib. 2, ch. xxvi.
[446:2]Eusebius: Life of Constantine, lib. 2, ch. xliii.
[446:3]Ibid. lib. 3, ch. lxii.
[446:4]Ibid. lib. 3, ch. lxiii.
[446:5]Ibid. lib. 3, ch. lxiv.
[446:6]Ibid. lib. 4, ch. xv.
[446:7]Ibid. ch. lxiii.
Plato places the ferocious tyrants in the Tartarus, such as Ardiacus of Pamphylia, who had slain his own father, a venerable old man, also an elder brother, and was stained with a great many other crimes. Constantine, covered with similar crimes, was better treated by the Christians, who have sent him to heaven, and sainted him besides.
[447:1]Gibbon’s Rome, vol. ii. p. 274.
[447:2]”Theodosius, though a professor of the orthodox Christian faith, was not baptized till 380, and his behavior after that period stamps him as one of the most cruel and vindictive persecutors who ever wore the purple. His arbitrary establishment of the Nicene faith over the whole empire, the deprivation of civil rites of all apostates from Christianity and of the Eunomians, the sentence of death on the Manicheans, and Quarto-decimans all prove this.” (Chambers’s Encyclo., art. Theodosius.)
[447:3]Quoted in Taylor‘s Syntagma, p. 54.
[447:4]Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. p. 81.
[448:1]Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. pp. 91, 92.
[448:2]All their writings were ordered to be destroyed.
[448:3]Gibbon’s Rome, vol. ii. p. 359.
[448:4]Ibid. note 154.
[449:1]Julian: Epistol. lii. p. 436. Quoted in Gibbon’s Rome, vol. ii. p. 360.
[449:2]”Thing”—a general assembly of the freemen, who gave their assent to a measure by striking their shields with their drawn swords.
[449:3]See Mallet’s Northern Antiquities, pp. 180, 351, and 470.
                   
Modified Extract from CHAPTER  XXXVII, WHY CHRISTIANITY PROSPERED “BIBLE MYTHS AND THEIR PARALLELS IN OTHER RELIGIONS” By T. W. DOANE,  1882. Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Lisa Reigel, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/31885/31885-h/31885-h.htm#Page_36
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The Trinity

“Say not there are three Gods, God is but One God.” (Koran)
Introduction:
The teachings of Jesus Christ as available in the four Gospels indicate that he preached to Israelis, the same message of Hebrew prophets, obedience and worship to One God: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”(Deuteronomy; 6:4, Mark; 12:29). The essence of the teachings is presented in the Sermon on the Mount, where he said: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.  For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”(Mathew; 5:17-20 also 5:3-12,  6:9-13).
The question of the origin of Jesus, his nature and relation to God, which later became so important, was not raised among his early disciples. The belief that Jesus was a man super-naturally endowed prophet of God was accepted without question. Nothing in the words of Jesus or the events in his life led them to modify this view. According to Aristides, one of the earliest apologists, the worship of the early Christians was more purely monotheistic even than of the Jews.
After Jesus Christ, the original followers of Jesus Christ continued to live as Jews and practiced what Jesus had taught them. It did not occur to any of them that they could ever be regarded as followers of a new religion.  They were devout and practicing Jews and they were distinguished from their neighbours, only by their faith in the message of Jesus. In the beginning they did not organize themselves as a separate sect and did not have a synagogue of their own.   There was nothing in the message of Jesus, as understood by them, to necessitate a break with Judaism. However, they incurred the enmity of the vested interests among the Jewish higher echelon.
With the conversion of Paul (4–64 C.E) a new period opened in Christian Theology. Paul a Jew and an inhabitant of Tarsus, had spent a long time in Rome, he was a Roman citizen. He realized the strong hold which the Roman religion had on the masses. The intellectuals were under the influence of Plato and Aristotle. Paul seems to have felt that it would not be possible to convert the masses in the Roman Empire without making mutual adjustments. But his practical wisdom was not acceptable to those who had seen and heard Jesus. However, in spite of their difference, they decided to work together for the common cause.
Jesus Christ presented a spiritual message and main ideas concerning human conduct. Christian theology, however, was shaped principally by the work of Paul and alike, who adulterated the spiritual message of Jesus. Paul became the foremost proselytizer of the new religion of Christianity. His influence on Christian theology proved to be the most permanent and far-reaching of all Christian writers and thinkers.
The conflict between the Jews and the followers of Jesus was started by the Jews because they felt that the Christians would undermine their “authority”. The gulf progressively began to widen. During the siege of Jerusalem in 70 C.E, they left the city; and refused to take part in the Bar Coachaba rebellion in 132 C.E. These two events brought to the surface the difference between the followers of Jesus Christ and the Jews.
Later the efforts of Paul bear fruits, Trinity and other strange doctrines got embedded to form the new religion, ‘Christianity’, falsely relating with Jesus Christ.
The doctrine of the Trinity is the highest and most mysterious doctrine of the Christian church. It declares that there are three persons in the Godhead or divine nature—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost—and that “these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory, although distinguished by their personal propensities.” The most celebrated statement of the doctrine is to be found in the Athanasian creed,[368:1] which asserts that:
“The Catholic [368:2] faith is this: That we worship One God as Trinity, and Trinity in Unity-neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance—for there is One person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one; the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.”
As M. Reville remarks:
“The dogma of the Trinity displayed its contradictions with true bravery. The Deity divided into three divine persons, and yet these three persons forming only One God; of these three the first only being self-existent, the two others deriving their existence from the first, and yet these three persons being considered as perfectly equal; each having his special, distinct character, his individual qualities, wanting in the other two, and yet each one of the three being supposed to possess the fullness of perfection—here, it must be confessed, we have the deification of the contradictory.”[368:3]

Heathen Origin of Trinity:

We shall now see that this very peculiar doctrine of three in one, and one in three, is of heathen origin, and that it must fall with all the other dogmas of the Christian religion. The number three is sacred in all theories derived from oriental sources. Deity is always a trinity of some kind, or the successive emanations proceeded in threes.[369:1]

Trinity in Indian Religions

Trimurti in Hinduism:

If we turn to India we shall find that one of the most prominent features in the Indian theology is the doctrine of a divine triad, governing all things. This triad is called Tri-murti—from the Sanskrit word tri (three) and murti (form)—and consists of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva. It is an inseparable unity, though three in form.[369:2]
“When the universal and infinite being Brahma—the only really existing entity, wholly without form, and unbound and unaffected by the three Gunas or by qualities of any kind—wished to create for his own entertainment the phenomena of the universe, he assumed the quality of activity and became a male person, as Brahma the creator. Next, in the progress of still further self-evolution, he willed to invest himself with the second quality of goodness, as Vishnu the preserver, and with the third quality of darkness, as Siva the destroyer. This development of the doctrine of triple manifestation (tri-murti), which appears first in the Brahmanized version of the Indian Epics, had already been adumbrated in the Veda in the triple form of fire, and in the triad of gods, Agni, Sūrya, and Indra; and in other ways.”[369:3]
This divine Tri-murti—says the Brahmans and the sacred books—is indivisible in essence, and indivisible in action; mystery profound! Which is explained in the following manner:
Brahma represents the creative principle, the un-reflected or un-evolved protogoneus state of divinity—the Father.
Vishnu represents the protecting and preserving principle, the evolved or reflected state of divinity—the Son.[369:4]
Siva is the principle that presides at destruction and re-construction—the Holy Spirit.[369:5]
The third person was the Destroyer, or, in his good capacity, the Regenerator. The dove was the emblem of the Regenerator. As the spiritus was the passive cause (brooding on the face of the waters) by which all things sprang into life, the dove became the emblem of the Spirit, or Holy Ghost, the third person.
These three gods are the first and the highest manifestations of the Eternal Essence, and are typified by the three letters composing the mystic syllable OM or AUM. They constitute the well known Trimurti or Triad of divine forms which characterizes Hinduism. It is usual to describe these three gods as Creator, Preserver and Destroyer, but this gives a very inadequate idea of their complex characters. Nor does the conception of their relationship to each other become clearer when it is ascertained that their functions are constantly interchangeable, and that each may take the place of the other, according to the sentiment expressed by the greatest of Indian poets, Kalidasa (Kumara-sambhava, Griffith, vii. 44):
“In those three persons the One God was shown—Each first in place, each last—not one alone; Of Siva, Vishnu, Brahmā, each may be First, second, third, among the blessed three.”
A devout person called Attencin, becoming convinced that he should worship but one deity, thus addressed Brahma, Vishnu and Siva:
“O you three Lords; know that I recognize only One God; inform me therefore, which of you is the true divinity, that I may address to him alone my vows and adorations.”
The three gods became manifest to him, and replied:
“Learn, O devotee, that there is no real distinction between us; what to you appears such is only by semblance; the Single Being appears under three forms, but he is One.”[370:1]
Sir William Jones says:
“Very respectable natives have assured me, that one or two missionaries have been absurd enough in their zeal for the conversion of the Gentiles, to urge that the Hindus were even now almost Christians; because their Brahmā, Vishnou, and Mahesa (Siva), were no other than the Christian Trinity.”[370:2]
Thomas Maurice, in his “Indian Antiquities,” describes a magnificent piece of Indian sculpture, of exquisite workmanship, and of stupendous antiquity, namely:
“A bust composed of three heads, united to one body, adorned with the oldest symbols of the Indian theology, and thus expressly fabricated according to the unanimous confession of the sacred sacerdotal tribe of India, to indicate the Creator, the Preserver, and the Regenerator, of mankind; which establishes the solemn fact, that from the remotest eras, the Indian nations had adored a triune deity.”[371:1]
There are many Indian sculptures representing the Triune God,[371:2] evidently similar to the one described above by Mr. Maurice. It is taken from “a very ancient granite” in the museum at the “Indian House,” and was dug from the ruins of a temple in the island of Bombay.

Trinity in Buddhism:

The Buddhists, as well as the Brahmans, have had their Trinity from a very early period.
Mr. Faber, in his “Origin of Heathen Idolatry,” says:
“Among the Hindus, we have the Triad of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva; so, among the votaries of Buddha, we find the self-triplicated Buddha declared to be the same as the Hindu Trimurti. Among the Buddhist sect of the Jainists, we have the triple Jiva, in whom the Trimurti is similarly declared to be incarnate.”
In this Trinity Vajrapani answers to Brahmā, or Jehovah, the “All-father,” Manjusri is the “deified teacher,” the counterpart of Krishna or Jesus, and Avalokitesvara is the “Holy Spirit.”
Buddha was believed by his followers to be, not only an incarnation of the deity, but “God himself in human form”—as the followers of Krishna believed him to be—and therefore “three gods in one.” This is clearly illustrated by the following address delivered to Buddha by a devotee called Amora:
“Reverence be unto thee, O God, in the form of the God of mercy, the dispeller of pain and trouble, the Lord of all things, the guardian of the universe, the emblem of mercy towards those who serve thee—OM! the possessor of all things in vital form. Thou art Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesa; thou art Lord of all the universe. Thou art under the proper form of all things, movable and immovable, the possessor of the whole, and thus I adore thee. I adore thee, who art celebrated by a thousand names, and under various forms; in the shape of Buddha, the god of mercy.”[371:3]
Buddhist Trinity in Japan & China:
The inhabitants of China and Japan, the majority of whom are Buddhists, worship God in the form of a Trinity. Their name for him (Buddha) is Fo, and in speaking of the Trinity they say: “The three pure, precious or honourable Fo.”[372:1] This triad is represented in their temples by images similar to those found in the pagodas of India, and when they speak of God they say: “Fo is one person, but has three forms.”[372:2]
In a chapel belonging to the monastery of Poo-ta-la, which was found in Manchow-Tartary, was to be seen representations of Fo, in the form of three persons.[372:3]
Navarette, in his account of China, says:
“This sect (of Fo) has another idol they call Sanpao. It consists of three, equal in all respects. This, which has been represented as an image of the Most Blessed Trinity, is exactly the same with that which is on the high altar of the monastery of the Trinitarians at Madrid. If any Chinese whatsoever saw it, he would say that Sanpao of his country was worshiped in these parts.”
And Mr. Faber, in his “Origin of Heathen Idolatry,” says:
“Among the Chinese, who worship Buddha under the name of Fo, we find this God mysteriously multiplied into three persons.”
The mystic syllable O. M. or A. U. M. is also reverenced by the Chinese and Japanese,[372:4] as we have found it reverenced by the inhabitants of India.
The followers of Laou-tsze, or Laou-keum-tsze—a celebrated philosopher of China, and deified hero, born 604 B. C.—known as the Taou sect, are also worshipers of a Trinity.[372:5] It was the leading feature in Laou-keun’s system of philosophical theology, that Taou, the eternal reason, produced one; one produced two; two produced three; and three produced all things.[372:6] This was a sentence which Laou-keun continually repeated, and which Mr. Maurice considers, “a most singular axiom for a heathen philosopher.”[372:7]
The sacred volumes of the Chinese state that:
“The Source and Root of all is One. This self-existent unity necessarily produced a second. The first and second, by their union, produced a third. These Three produced all.”[372:8]
The ancient emperors of China solemnly sacrificed, every three years, to “Him who is One and Three.”[372:9]

Egyptian Trinity & Logos:

The ancient Egyptians worshiped God in the form of a Trinity, which was represented in sculptures on the most ancient of their temples. The celebrated symbol of the wing, the globe, and the serpent, is supposed to have stood for the different attributes of God.[373:1]
The priests of Memphis, in Egypt, explained this mystery to the novice, by intimating that the premier (first) monad created the dyad, who engendered the triad, and that it is this triad which shines through nature.
Thulis, a great monarch, who at one time reigned over all Egypt, and who was in the habit of consulting the oracle of Serapis, is said to have addressed the oracle in these words:
“Tell me if ever there was before one greater than I, or will ever be one greater than me?”
The oracle answered thus:
“First God, afterward the Word, and with them the Holy Spirit, all these are of the same nature, and make but one whole, of which the power is eternal. Go away quickly, mortal, thou who hast but an uncertain life.”[373:2]
The idea of calling the second person in the Trinity the Logos, or Word [373:3] is an Egyptian feature, and was engrafted into Christianity many centuries after the time of Christ Jesus.[373:4] Apollo, who had his tomb at Delphi in Egypt, was called the Word.[373:5]
Mr. Bonwick, in his “Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought,” says:
“Some persons are prepared to admit that the most astonishing development of the old religion of Egypt was in relation to the Logos or Divine Word, by whom all things were made, and who, though from God, was God. It had long been known that Plato, Aristotle, and others before the Christian era, cherished the idea of this Demiurgus; but it was not known till of late that Chaldeans and Egyptians recognized this mysterious principle.”[373:6]
“The Logos or Word was a great mystery (among the Egyptians), in whose sacred books the following passages may be seen: ‘I know the mystery of the divine Word;’ ‘The Word of the Lord of All, which was the maker of it;’ ‘The Word—this is the first person after himself, uncreated, infinite ruling over all things that were made by him.'”[374:1]
The Assyrians had Marduk for their Logos;[374:2] one of their sacred addresses to him reads thus:
“Thou art the powerful one—Thou art the life-giver—Thou also the prosperer—Merciful one among the gods—Eldest son of Hea, who made heaven and earth—Lord of heaven and earth, who an equal has not—Merciful one, who dead to life raises.”[374:3]
The Chaldeans had their Memra or “Word of God,” corresponding to the Greek Logos, which designated that being who organized and who still governs the world, and is inferior to God only.[374:4]
The Logos was with Philoa most interesting subject of discourse, tempting him to wonderful feats of imagination. There is scarcely a personifying or exalting epithet that he did not bestow on the Divine Reason. He described it as a distinct being; called it “a Rock,” “The Summit of the Universe,” “Before all things,” “First-begotten Son of God,” “Eternal Bread from Heaven,” “Fountain of Wisdom,” “Guide to God,” “Substitute for God,” “Image of God,” “Priest,” “Creator of the Worlds,” “Second God,” “Interpreter of God,” “Ambassador of God,” “Power of God,” “King,” “Angel,” “Man,” “Mediator,” “Light,” “The Beginning,” “The East,” “The Name of God,” “The Intercessor.”[374:5]
This is exactly the Logos of John. It becomes a man, “is made flesh;” appears as an incarnation; in order that the God whom “no man has seen at any time,” may be manifested.

Greek Trinity & Logos:

The worship of God in the form of a Trinity was to be found among the ancient Greeks. When the priests were about to offer up a sacrifice to the gods, the altar was three times sprinkled by dipping a laurel branch in holy water, and the people assembled around it were three times sprinkled also. Frankincense was taken from the censer with three fingers, and strewed upon the altar three times. This was done because an oracle had declared that all sacred things ought to be in threes, therefore, that number was scrupulously observed in most religious ceremonies.[374:6]
Orpheus[374:7] wrote that:
“All things were made by One godhead in three names, and that this god is all things.”[375:1]
This Trinitarian view of the Deity he is said to have brought from Egypt, and the Christian Fathers of the third and fourth centuries claimed that Pythagoras, Heraclitus, and Plato—who taught the doctrine of the Trinity—had drawn their theological philosophy from the writings of Orpheus.[375:2]
The works of Plato were extensively studied by the Church Fathers, one of whom joyfully recognizes in the great teacher, the schoolmaster who, in the fullness of time, was destined to educate the heathen for Christ, as Moses did the Jews.[375:3]
The celebrated passage: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,“[375:4] is a fragment of some Pagan treatise on the Platonic philosophy, evidently written by Irenaeus.[375:5] It is quoted by Amelius, a Pagan philosopher, as strictly applicable to the Logos, or Mercury, the Word, apparently as an honorable testimony borne to the Pagan deity by a barbarian—for such is what he calls the writer of John i. 1. His words are:
“This plainly was the Word, by whom all things were made, he being himself eternal, as Heraclitus also would say; and by Jove, the same whom the barbarian affirms to have been in the place and dignity of a principal, and to be with God, and to be God, by whom all things were made, and in whom everything that was made has its life and being.”[375:6]
The Christian Father, Justin Martyr, apologizing for the Christian religion, tells the Emperor Antoninus Pius, that the Pagans need not taunt the Christians for worshiping the Logos, which “was with God, and was God,” as they were also guilty of the same act.
“If we (Christians) hold,” says he, “some opinions near of kin to the poets and philosophers, in great repute among you, why are we thus unjustly hated?” “There’s Mercury, Jove’s interpreter, in imitation of the Logos, in worship among you,” and “as to the Son of God, called Jesus, should we allow him to be nothing more than man, yet the title of the ‘Son of God’ is very justifiable, upon the account of his wisdom, considering you have your Mercury, (also called the ‘Son of God’) in worship under the title of the Word and Messenger of God.”[375:7]
We see, then, that the title “Word” or “Logos,” being applied to Jesus, is another piece of Pagan amalgamation with Christianity. It did not receive its authorized Christian form until the middle of the second century after Christ.[376:1]

Trinity Worship in Ancient Religions:

Pagan Romans:

The ancient Pagan Romans worshiped a Trinity.
An oracle is said to have declared that there was, “first God, then the Word, and with them the Spirit.”[376:2]
Here we see distinctly enumerated, God, the Logos, and the Spirit or Holy Ghost, in ancient Rome, where the most celebrated temple of this capital—that of Jupiter Capitolinus—was dedicated to three deities, which three deities were honoured with joint worship.[376:3]

Persians:

The ancient Persians worshiped a Trinity.[376:4]
This trinity consisted of Oromasdes, Mithras, and Ahriman.[376:5] It was virtually the same as that of the Hindus: Oromasdes was the Creator, Mithras was the “Son of God,” the “Saviour,” the “Mediator” or “Intercessor,” and Ahriman was the Destroyer. In the oracles of Zoroaster the Persian lawgiver, is to be found the following sentence:
“A Triad of Deity shines forth through the whole world, of which a Monad (an invisible thing) is the head.”[376:6]
Plutarch, “De Iside et Osiride,” says:
“Zoroaster is said to have made a threefold distribution of things: to have assigned the first and highest rank to Oromasdes, who, in the Oracles, is called the Father; the lowest to Ahrimanes; and the middle to Mithras; who, in the same Oracles, is called the second Mind.”

Assyrians and Phenicians:

The Assyrians and Phenicians worshiped a Trinity.[376:7]
“It is a curious and instructive fact, that the Jews had symbols of the divine Unity in Trinity as well as the Pagans.”[376:8] The Cabbala had its Trinity: “the Ancient, whose name is sanctified, is with three heads, which make but one.”[376:9]
Rabbi Simeon Ben Jochai says:
“Come and see the mystery of the word Elohim: there are three degrees, and each degree by itself alone, and yet, notwithstanding, they are all One, and joined together in One, and cannot be divided from each other.”
According to Dr. Parkhurst:
“The Vandals[376:10] had a god called Triglaff. One of these was found at Hertungerberg, near Brandenburg (in Prussia). He was represented with three heads. This was apparently the Trinity of Paganism.”[377:1]

Scandinavia:

The ancient Scandinavians worshiped a triple deity who was yet one god.
It consisted of Odin, Thor, and Frey. A triune statue representing this Trinity in Unity was found at Upsal in Sweden.[377:2] The three principal nations of Scandinavia (Sweden, Denmark, and Norway) vied with each other in erecting temples, but none were more famous than the temple at Upsal in Sweden. It glittered on all sides with gold. It seemed to be particularly consecrated to the Three Superior Deities, Odin, Thor and Frey. The statues of these gods were placed in this temple on three thrones, one above the other. Odin was represented holding a sword in his hand: Thor stood at the left hand of Odin, with a crown upon his head, and a scepter in his hand; Frey stood at the left hand of Thor, and was represented of both sexes. Odin was the supreme God, the Al-fader; Thor was the first-begotten son of this god, and Frey was the bestower of fertility, peace and riches. King Gylfi of Sweden is supposed to have gone at one time to Asgard (the abode of the gods), where he beheld three thrones raised one above another, with a man sitting on each of them. Upon his asking what the names of these lords might be, his guide answered: “He who sitteth on the lowest throne is the Lofty One; the second is the equal to the Lofty One; and he who sitteth on the highest throne is called the Third.”[377:3]

Ancient Druids, Siberians, Tartars:

The ancient Druids also worshiped: “Ain Treidhe Dia ainm Taulac, Fan, Mollac;” which is to say: “Ain triple God, of name Taulac, Fan, Mollac.”[377:4]
The ancient inhabitants of Siberia worshiped a triune God.
In remote ages, wanderers from India directed their eyes northward, and crossing the vast Tartarian deserts, finally settled in Siberia, bringing with them the worship of a triune God. This is clearly shown from the fact stated by Thomas Maurice, that:
“The first Christian missionaries who arrived in those regions, found the people already in possession of that fundamental doctrine of the true religion, which, among others, they came to impress upon their minds, and universally adored an idol fabricated to resemble, as near as possible, a Trinity in Unity.”
This triune God consisted of, first “the Creator of all things,” second, “the God of Armies,” third, “the Spirit of Heavenly Love,” and yet these three were but one indivisible God.[377:5]
The Tartars also worshiped God as a Trinity in Unity.
On one of their medals, which is now in the St. Petersburg Museum, may be seen a representation of the triple God seated on the lotus.[378:1]
Even in the remote islands of the Pacific Ocean, the supreme deities are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, the latter of which is symbolized as a bird.[378:2]

Ancient Mexicans and Peruvians:

The supreme God of the Mexicans (Tezcatlipoca), who had, as Lord Kingsborough says, “all the attributes and powers which were assigned to Jehovah by the Hebrews,” had associated with him two other gods, Huitzlipochtli and Tlaloc; one occupied a place upon his left hand, the other on his right. This was the Trinity of the Mexicans.[378:3]
When the bishop Don Bartholomew de las Casas proceeded to his bishopric, which was in 1545, he commissioned an ecclesiastic, whose name was Francis Hernandez, who was well acquainted with the language of the Indians (as the natives were called), to visit them, carrying with him a sort of catechism of what he was about to preach. In about one year from the time that Francis Hernandez was sent out, he wrote to Bishop las Casas, stating that:
“The Indians believed in the God who was in heaven; that this God was the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and that the Father was named Yzona, the Son Bacab, who was born of a Virgin, and that the Holy Ghost was called Echiah.”[378:4]
The Rev. Father Acosta says, in speaking of the Peruvians:
“It is strange that the devil after his manner hath brought a Trinity into idolatry, for the three images of the Sun called Apomti, Churunti, and Intiquaoqui, signifieth Father and Lord Sun, the Son Sun, and the Brother Sun.
“Being in Chuquisaca, an honourable priest showed me an information, which I had long in my hands, where it was proved that there was a certain oratory, whereat the Indians did worship an idol called Tangatanga, which they said was ‘One in Three, and Three in One.’ And as this priest stood amazed thereat, I said that the devil by his internal and obstinate pride (whereby he always pretends to make himself God) did steal all that he could from the truth, to employ it in his lying and deceits.”[378:5]
The doctrine was recognized among the Indians of the Californian peninsula. The statue of the principal deity of the New Granadian Indians had “three heads on one body,” and was understood to be “three persons with one heart and one will.”[378:6]

Important Deductions:

  • The result of our investigations then, is that, for ages before the time of Christ Jesus or Christianity, God was worshiped in the form of a TRIAD, and that this doctrine was extensively diffused through many nations.
  • That it was established in regions as far distant as China and Mexico, and immemorially acknowledged through the whole extent of Egypt and India.
  • That it flourished with equal vigour among the snowy mountains of Tibet, and the vast deserts of Siberia.
  • That the barbarians of central Europe, the Scandinavians, and the Druids of Britain and Ireland, bent their knee to an idol of a Triune God.
  • What then becomes of “the Ever-Blessed Trinity” of Christianity? It must fall, together with all the rest of its dogmas, and be buried with the Pagan debris.
The learned Thomas Maurice imagined that this mysterious doctrine must have been revealed by God to Adam, or to Noah, or to Abraham, or to somebody else. Notice with what caution he wrote (A. D. 1794) on this subject. He says:
“In the course of the wide range which I have been compelled to take in the field of Asiatic mythology, certain topics have arisen for discussion, equally delicate and perplexing. Among them, in particular, a species of Trinity forms a constant and prominent feature in nearly all the systems of Oriental theology.”
After saying, “I venture with a trembling step,” and that, “It was not from choice, but from necessity, that I entered thus upon this subject,” he concludes:
“This extensive and interesting subject engrosses a considerable portion of this work, and my anxiety to prepare the public mind to receive it, my efforts to elucidate so mysterious a point of theology, induces me to remind the candid reader, that visible traces of this doctrine are discovered, not only in the three principals of the Chaldaic theology; in the Triplasios Mithra of Persia; in the Triad, Brahmā, Vishnu, and Siva, of India—where it was evidently promulgated in the Geeta, fifteen hundred years before the birth of Plato;[379:1] but in the Numen Triplex of Japan; in the inscription upon the famous medal found in the deserts of Siberia, “To the Triune God,” to be seen at this day in the valuable cabinet of the Empress, at St. Petersburg; in the Tanga-Tanga, or Three in One, of the South Americans; and, finally, without mentioning the vestiges of it in Greece, in the Symbol of the Wing, the Globe, and the Serpent, conspicuous on most of the ancient temples of Upper Egypt.”[379:2]

How Trinity entered Christianity?

While Paul of Tarsus, the man who could rightfully be considered the true founder of Christianity, did formulate many of its doctrines, that of the Trinity was not among them. He did, however, lay the groundwork for such when he put forth the idea of Jesus being a “divine Son.” After all, a Son does need a Father, and what about a vehicle for God’s revelations to man? In essence, Paul named the principal players, but it was the later Church fathers who put the matter together. Essenes, the third Jewish sect, which is not mentioned in writings after Jesus, had affinity with Buddhism. Essenes are considered to have formed the bulk of early followers of Jesus Christ, later Christians. They acted as a bridge with ‘Hindu, Buddhist and Egyptian Trinity’ through Alexandria, once the centre of knowledge including Eastern & Indian religions.

Alexandrian Library:

The history of the great Alexandrian library is one of the keys which unlock the door, and exposes to the view the manner in which the heathen doctrines including Trinity sneaked in to the monotheistic teachings of Jesus Christ such that Hindu incarnate god Krishna, and the meek and benevolent Buddha, came to be worshiped under the name of Christ Jesus. In Alexandria, in Egypt, there was an immense library, founded by the Ptolemies [Egyptian dynasty of Macedonian kings (323-30 B.C.). The Ptolemies included Ptolemy I (367-283 BC), a general in Alexander the Great’s army who succeeded him as ruler of Egypt (323-285 BC), and Ptolemy XV (47-30), who ruled as coregent (44-30 BC) with his mother, Cleopatra.]. Any books brought by foreigners into Egypt were taken at once to the museum, and when correct copies had been made, the transcript was given to the owner, and the original placed in the library. The library in the museum was burned during the siege of Alexandria by Julius Caesar. To make amends for this great loss, the library collected by Eumenes, King of Pergamus, was presented by Mark Antony to Queen Cleopatra. [379:3].
The salient features, functions, importance and long term implications of Alexandria library are:
1. That, “orders were given to the chief librarian to buy at the king’s expense whatever books he could.”
2. That, “one of the chief objects of the museum was that of serving as the home of a body of men who devoted themselves to study.”
3. That, “any books brought by foreigners into Egypt were taken at once to the museum and correct copies made.”
4. That, “there flocked to this great intellectual centre students from all countries.”
5. That, “the Christian church received from it some of the most eminent of its Fathers.”
And also:
6. That, the chief doctrines of the Gnostic Christians “had been held for centuries before their time in many of the cities in Asia Minor. There, it is probable, they first came into existence as ‘Mystae’ upon the establishment of a direct intercourse with India under the Seleucidae and the Ptolemies.”
7. That, “the College of ESSENES at Ephesus, the Orphics of Thrace, the Curetes of Crete, are all merely branches of one antique and common religion, and that originally Asiatic.”
8. That, “the introduction of Buddhism into Egypt and Palestine affords the only true solution of innumerable difficulties in the history of religion.”
9. That, “Buddhism had actually been planted in the dominions of the Seleucidae and Ptolemies (Palestine belonging to the former) before the beginning of the third century B. C. and is proved to demonstration by a passage in the edicts of Ashoka.” [Ashoka (304–232 BC) was a great Indian King who converted to Buddhism, made it world religion.]
10. That, “it is very likely that the commentaries (Scriptures) which were among them (the Essenes) were the Gospels.”
11. That, “the principal doctrines and rites of the Essenes can be connected with the East, with Parsism [ Zoroastrians ], and especially with Buddhism.”
12. That, “among the doctrines which the Essenes and Buddhists had in common was that of the Angel-Messiah.”
13. That, “they (the Essenes) had a flourishing university or corporate body, established at Alexandria, in Egypt, long before the period assigned for the birth of Christ.”
14. That, “the very ancient and Eastern doctrine of the Angel-Messiah had been applied to Gautama Buddha, and so it was applied to Jesus Christ by the Essenes of Egypt and Palestine, who introduced this new Messianic doctrine into Essenic Judaism and Essenic Christianity.”
15. That, “we hear very little of them (the Essenes) after 40 C.E ; and there can hardly be any doubt that the Essenes as a body must have embraced Christianity.”
Here is the solution of the problem. The sacred books of Hindus and Buddhists were among the Essenes, and in the library at Alexandria. The Essenes, who were afterwards called Christians, applied the legend of the Angel-Messiah—”the very ancient Eastern doctrine,” which we have shown throughout this work—to Christ Jesus. It was simply a transformation of names, a transformation which had previously occurred in many cases.[379:4] After this came additions to the legend and myths like Trinity from other sources. Portions of the legends related of the Persian, Greek and Roman Saviours and Redeemers of mankind, were, from time to time, added to the already legendary history of the Christian Saviour. Thus history was repeating itself. Thus the virgin-born God and Saviour, worshiped by many nations of the earth, though called by different names, was but one and the same.
This very valuable library was wilfully destroyed by the Christian Theophilus [Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412 C.E]. The destruction of this library was almost the death-blow to free-thought—wherever Christianity ruled—for more than a thousand years.

Egypt, the land of Trinities, Essenes & Gospels:

“Alexandria, the home of Philonism, and Neo-Platonism (and we might add Essenism), was naturally the centre whence spread the dogma of the deity of Jesus Christ. In that city, through the third century, flourished a school of transcendental theology, afterwards looked upon with suspicion by the conservators of ecclesiastical doctrine, but not the less the real cradle of orthodoxy. It was still the Platonic tendency which influenced the speculations of Clement, Origen and Dionysius, and the theory of the Logos was at the foundation of their theology.” says Albert Revillé  [379:3]
Among the numerous gospels in circulation among the Christians of the first three centuries, there was one entitled “The Gospel of the Egyptians.” Epiphanius (385 C.E), speaking of it, says:
“Many things are proposed (in this Gospel of the Egyptians) in a hidden, mysterious manner, as by our Saviour, as though he had said to his disciples, that the Father was the same person, the Son the same person, and the Holy Ghost the same person.”
That this was one of the “Scriptures” of the Essenes becomes very evident when we find it admitted by the most learned of Christian theologians that it was in existence “before either of the canonical Gospels,” and that it contained the doctrine of the Trinity, a doctrine not established in the Christian church until 327 C.E, but which was taught by this Buddhist sect in Alexandria, in Egypt, which has been well called, “Egypt, the land of Trinities.”
The learned Dr. Grabe thought it was composed by some Christians in Egypt, and that it was published before either of the canonical Gospels. Dr. Mill also believed that it was composed before either of the canonical Gospels, and, what is more important than all, that the authors of it were Essenes.
These “Scriptures” of the Essenes were undoubtedly amalgamated with the “Gospels” of the Christians, the result being the canonical Gospels as we now have them. The “Gospel of the Hebrews,” and such like, on the one hand, and the “Gospel of the Egyptians,” or Essenes, and such like, on the other. That the “Gospel of the Hebrews” spoke of Jesus of Nazareth as the son of Joseph and Mary, according to the flesh, and that it taught nothing about his miracles, his resurrection from the dead, and other such prodigies, is admitted on all hands. That the “Scriptures” of the Essenes contained the whole legend of the Angel-Messiah, which was afterwards added to the history of Jesus, making him a CHRIST, or an Anointed Angel, is a probability almost to a certainty. Do we now understand how all the traditions and legends, originally Indian, escaping from the great focus through Egypt, were able to reach Judea, Greece and Rome?
According to an other similar historic narrative, it was a long time after the followers of Christ Jesus had made him a God, before they ventured to declare that he was “God himself in human form,” and, “the second person in the Ever-Blessed Trinity.” It was Justin Martyr (103–165 C.E ), a Christian convert from the Platonic school,[380:1] who, about the middle of the second century, first promulgated the opinion, that Jesus of Nazareth, the “Son of God,” was the second principle in the Deity, and the Creator of all material things. He is the earliest writer to whom the opinion can be traced. This knowledge, he does not ascribe to the Scriptures, but to the special favour of God.[380:2]
Tertullian, a lawyer and presbyter of the third century Church in Carthage, was the first to use the word “Trinity” when he put forth the theory that the Son and the Spirit participate in the being of God, but all are of one being of substance with the Father.

Controversies on Trinity:

In these Trinitarian controversies, which first broke out in Egypt—Egypt, the land of Trinities—the chief point in the discussion was to define the position of “the Son.”
There lived in Alexandria a presbyter of the name of Arius, a disappointed candidate for the office of bishop. He took the ground that there was a time when, from the very nature of Sonship, the Son did not exist, and a time at which he commenced to be, asserting that it is the necessary condition of the filial relation that a father must be older than his son. But this assertion evidently denied the co-eternity of the three persons of the Trinity, it suggested a subordination or inequality among them, and indeed implied a time when the Trinity did not exist. Hereupon, the bishop, who had been the successful competitor against Arius, displayed his rhetorical powers in public debates on the question, and, the strife spreading, the Jews and Pagans, who formed a very large portion of the population of Alexandria, amused themselves with theatrical representations of the contest on the stage—the point of their burlesques being the equality of age of the Father and the Son. Such was the violence the controversy at length assumed, that the matter had to be referred to the emperor (Constantine).
At first he looked upon the dispute as altogether frivolous, and perhaps in truth inclined to the assertion of Arius, that in the very nature of the thing a father must be older than his son. So great, however, was the pressure laid upon him, that he was eventually compelled to summon the Council of Nicea, which, to dispose of the conflict, set forth a formulary or creed, and attached to it this anathema:
“The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes those who say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, and that, before he was begotten, he was not, and that, he was made out of nothing, or out of another substance or essence, and is created, or changeable, or alterable.”
Constantine at once enforced the decision of the council by the civil power.[381:1]
Even after this “subtle and profound question” had been settled at the Council of Nice, those who settled it did not understand the question they had settled. Athanasius, who was a member of the first general council, and who is said to have written the creed which bears his name, which asserts that the true Catholic faith is this:
“That we worship One God as Trinity, and Trinity in Unity—neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance—for there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost, but the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal,”
—also confessed that whenever he forced his understanding to meditate on the divinity of the Logos, his toilsome and unavailing efforts recoiled on themselves; that the more he thought the less he comprehended; and the more he wrote the less capable was he of expressing his thoughts.[382:1]
We see, then, that this great question was (considered to be) settled, not by the consent of all members of the council, but simply because the majority were in favour of it. Jesus of Nazareth was “God himself in human form;” “one of the persons of the Ever-Blessed Trinity,” who “had no beginning, and will have no end,” because the majority of the members of this council said so. Hereafter—so it was decreed—all must believe it; if not, they must not oppose it, but forever hold their peace.

Enforcement of Doctrine:

The Emperor Theodosius declared his resolution of expelling from all the churches of his dominions, the bishops and their clergy who should obstinately refuse to believe, or at least to profess, the doctrine of the Council of Nice. His lieutenant, Sapor, was armed with the ample powers of a general law, a special commission, and a military force; and this ecclesiastical resolution was conducted with so much discretion and vigour, that the religion of the Emperor was established.[382:2]
Here we have the historical fact, that bishops of the Christian church, and their clergy, were forced to profess their belief in the doctrine of the Trinity.
We also find that:
“This orthodox Emperor (Theodosius) considered every heretic (as he called those who did not believe as he and his ecclesiastics professed) as a rebel against the supreme powers of heaven and of earth (he being one of the supreme powers of earth) and each of the powers might exercise their peculiar jurisdiction over the soul and body of the guilty.
“The decrees of the Council of Constantinople had ascertained the true standard of the faith, and the ecclesiastics, who governed the conscience of Theodosius, suggested the most effectual methods of persecution. In the space of fifteen years he promulgated at least fifteen severe edicts against the heretics, more especially against those who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity.”[382:3]
Thus we see one of the many reasons why the “most holy Christian religion” spread so rapidly!
Arius—who declared that in the nature of things a father must be older than his son—was excommunicated for his so-called heretical notions concerning the Trinity. His followers, who were very numerous, were called Arians. Their writings, if they had been permitted to exist,[383:1] would undoubtedly contain the lamentable story of the persecution which affected the church under the reign of the impious Emperor Theodosius.

Bible & Trinity Today:

References in the Bible to a Trinity of divine beings are vague. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus is telling his disciples to go out and preach to all nations. While the “Great Commission” does make mention of the three persons who later become components of the Trinity, the phrase “…baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” is quite clearly an addition to Biblical text – that is, not the actual words of Jesus – as can be seen by two factors: Baptism in the early Church, as discussed by Paul in his letters, was done only in the name of Jesus; and the “Great Commission” found in the first gospel written, that of Mark, bears no mention of Father, Son and or Holy Ghost (Mark 16:15).
The only other reference in the Bible closer to Trinity can be found in the Epistle 1 John, V: 7, which reads thus: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one,” is one of the numerous interpolations which were inserted into the books of the New Testament, many years after these books were written.[380:3]These passages are retained and circulated as the word of God, or as of equal authority with the rest, though known and admitted by the learned on all hands, to be forgeries, wilful and wicked interpolations hence is not found in modern versions of the Bible.
[Dr C.I, Scofield, D.D. backed by eight other D.D.’s declared: “It is generally agreed that this verse has no manuscript authority and has been inserted.” The fundamentalist Christians still retain this fabrication whereas; in all the modern translations including the Revised Standard Version (RSV) 1971, First edition this pious deceit has been unceremoniously expunged, while others adds note; ‘not found in prior to 16th century Greek manuscripts’, more at:  http://wp.me/PCgrB-cS ]
It can, therefore, be seen that the concept of a Trinity of divine beings was not an idea put forth by Jesus Christ. This doctrine, now subscribed to by Christians all over the world, is entirely man-made in origin adopted from heathens.
The subtle and profound questions concerning the nature, generation, the distinction, and the quality of the three divine persons of the mysterious triad, or Trinity, were agitated in the philosophical and in the Christian schools of Alexandria in Egypt,[380:4] but it was not a part of the established Christian faith until as late as A. D. 327, when the question was settled at the Councils of Nice and Constantinople. Up to this time there was no understood and recognized doctrine on this high subject. The Christians were for the most part accustomed to use scriptural expressions in speaking of the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit, without defining articulately their relation to one another.[380:5]

Islam & Trinity:

While Christianity have problems defining the essence of God, such is not the case in Islam. “They do blaspheme who say: God  is one of three in a Trinity, for there is no god except One God.” (Qur’an 5:73). Christianity claims to be a monotheistic religion. Monotheism, however, has as its fundamental belief that God is One; the Christian doctrine of the Trinity – God being Three-in-One – is seen by Muslims, like many rational Christians as a form of polytheism. “…your God is One God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner.” (Qur’an 18:110), “…I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore, serve Me (and no other)…” (Qur’an 21:92)

Conclusion:

Brutal punishments and even death did not stop the controversy over the doctrine of the Trinity, which continues even today. The majority of Christians, when asked to explain this fundamental doctrine of their faith, can offer nothing more than “I believe it because I was told to do so.” It is explained away as “mystery” – yet the Bible says in I Corinthians 14:33 that “… God is not the author of confusion…”
The Unitarian denomination of Christianity has kept alive the teachings of Arius in saying that God is one; they do not believe in the Trinity. As a result, mainstream Christians abhor them, and the National Council of Churches has refused their admittance. In Unitarianism, the hope is kept alive that Christians will someday return to the original teachings of Jesus: “…Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” (Luke 4:8) [383:3]. Many Christians in confusion are turning to atheism, but those with deeper insight find Islam to be logical choice.
FOOTNOTES:

[368:1]The celebrated passage (I. John, v. 7) “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one,” is now admitted on all hands to be an interpolation into the epistle many centuries after the time of Christ Jesus. (See Giles’ Hebrew and Christian Records, vol. ii. p. 12. Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. p. 556. Inman’s Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 886. Taylor’s Diegesis and Reber’s Christ of Paul.)
[368:2]That is, the true faith.
[368:3]Dogma Deity Jesus Christ, p. 95.
[369:1]”The notion of a Triad of Supreme Powers is indeed common to most ancient religions.” (Prichard’s Egyptian Mytho., p. 285.)
“Nearly all the Pagan nations of antiquity, in their various theological systems, acknowledged a trinity in the divine nature.” (Maurice: Indian Antiquities, vol. vi. p. 35.)
“The ancients imagined that their triad of gods or persons, only constituted one god.” (Celtic Druids, p. 197.)
[369:2]The three attributes called Brahmā, Vishnu and Siva, are indicated by letters corresponding to our A. U. M., generally pronounced OM. This mystic word is never uttered except in prayer, and the sign which represents it in their temples is an object of profound adoration.
[369:3]Monier Williams’ Indian Wisdom, p. 324.
[369:4]That is, the Lord and Saviour Crishna. The Supreme Spirit, in order to preserve the world, produced Vishnu. Vishnu came upon earth for this purpose, in the form of Crishna. He was believed to be an incarnation of the Supreme Being, one of the persons of their holy and mysterious trinity, to use their language, “The Lord and Savior—three persons and one god.” In the Geita, Krishna is made to say: “I am the Lord of all created beings.” “I am the mystic figure O. M.” “I am Brahmā Vishnu, and Siva, three gods in one.”
[369:5]See The Heathen Religion, p. 124.
[370:1]Allen’s India, pp. 382, 383.
[370:2]Asiatic Researches, vol. i. p. 272.
[371:1]Indian Antiquities, vol. iv. p. 372.
[371:2]Taken from Moore’s “Hindu Pantheon,” plate 81.
[371:3]Asiatic Researches, vol. iii. pp. 285, 286. See also, King’s Gnostics, 167.
[372:1]Davis’ China, vol. ii. p. 104.
[372:2]Ibid. pp. 103 and 81.
[372:3]Ibid. pp. 105, 106.
[372:4]Ibid. pp. 103, 81.
[372:5]Ibid. 110, 111. Bell’s Pantheon, vol. ii. p. 36. Dunlap’s Spirit Hist., 150.
[372:6]Indian Antiquities, vol. v. p. 41. Dupuis, p. 285. Dunlap’s Spirit Hist., 150.
[372:7]Indian Antiquities, vol. v. p. 41.
This Taou sect, according to John Francis Davis, and the Rev. Charles Gutzlaff, both of whom have resided in China—call their trinity “the three pure ones,” or “the three precious ones in heaven.” (See Davis’ China, vol. ii. p. 110, and Gutzlaff’s Voyages, p. 307.)
[372:8]See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 210.
[372:9]Ibid.
[373:1]Indian Antiquities, vol. i. p. 127.
[373:2]Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 14.
The following answer is stated by Manetho, an Egyptian priest, to have been given by an Oracle to Sesostris: “On his return through Africa he entered the sanctuary of the Oracle, saying: ‘Tell me, O thou strong in fire, who before me could subjugate all things? and who shall after me?’ But the Oracle rebuked him, saying, ‘First, God; then the Word; and with them, the Spirit.'” (Nimrod, vol. i. p. 119, in Ibid. vol. i. p. 805.)
Here we have distinctly enumerated God, the Logos, and the Spirit or Holy Ghost, in a very early period, long previous to the Christian era.
[373:3]I. John, v. 7. John, i. 1.
[373:4]The Alexandrian theology, of which the celebrated Plato was the chief representative, taught that the Logos was “the second God;” a being of divine essence, but distinguished from the Supreme God. It is also called “the first-born Son of God.”
“The Platonists furnished brilliant recruits to the Christian churches of Asia Minor and Greece, and brought with them their love for system and their idealism.” “It is in the Platonizing or Alexandrian, branch of Judaism that we must seek for the antecedents of the Christian doctrine of the Logos.” (A. Revillé: Dogma Deity Jesus, p. 29.)
[373:5]Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 102. Mithras, the Mediator, and Saviour of the Persians, was called the Logos. (See Dunlap’s Son of the Man, p. 20. Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 75.) Hermes was called the Logos. (See Dunlap’s Son of the Man, p. 39, marginal note.)
[373:6]Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief, p. 402.
[374:1]Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief, p. 404.
[374:2]Ibid.
[374:3]Ibid.
[374:4]Ibid. p. 28.
[374:5]Frothingham’s Cradle of the Christ, p. 112.
[374:6]See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 307.
[374:7]Orpheus is said to have been a native of Thracia, the oldest poet of Greece, and to have written before the time of Homer; but he is evidently a mythological character.
[375:1]See Indian Antiquities, vol. iv. p. 332, and Taylor’s Diegesis, p. 189.
[375:2]See Chambers’s Encyclo., art. “Orpheus.”
[375:3]Ibid., art. “Plato.”
[375:4]John, i. 1.
[375:5]The first that we know of this gospel for certain is during the time of Irenæus, the great Christian forger.
[375:6]See Taylor’s Diegesis, p. 185.
[375:7]Apol. 1. ch. xx.-xxii.
[376:1]See Fiske: Myths and Myth-makers, p. 205. Celsus charges the Christians with a recoinage of the misunderstood doctrine of the Logos.
[376:2]See Higgins’ Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 105.
[376:3]See Indian Antiquities, vol. iii. p. 158.
[376:4]See Indian Antiquities, vol. vi. p. 346. Monumental Christianity, p. 65, and Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 819.
[376:5]Ibid.
[376:6]Indian Antiquities, vol. iv. p. 259.
[376:7]See Monumental Christianity, p. 65, and Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 819.
[376:8]Monumental Christianity, p. 923. See also, Maurice’s Indian Antiquities.
[376:9]Idra Suta, Sohar, iii. 288. B. Franck, 138. Son of the Man, p. 78.
[376:10]Vandals—a race of European barbarians, either of Germanic or Slavonic origin.
[377:1]Parkhurst: Hebrew Lexicon, Quoted in Taylor’s Diegesis, p. 216.
[377:2]See Knight: Anct. Art and Mytho., p. 169. Maurice: Indian Antiq., vol. v. p. 14, and Gross: The Heathen Religion, p. 210.
[377:3]See Mallet’s Northern Antiquities.
[377:4]Celtic Druids, p. 171; Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 123; and Myths of the British Druids, p. 448.
[377:5]Indian Antiquities, vol. v. pp. 8, 9.
[378:1]Isis Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 48.
[378:2]Knight: Anct. Art and Mytho., p. 169.
[378:3]Squire: Serpent Symbol, pp. 179, 180. Mexican Ant., vol. vi. p. 164.
[378:4]Kingsborough: Mexican Antiquities, vol. vi. p. 164.
[378:5]Acosta: Hist. Indies, vol. ii. p. 373. See also, Indian Antiq., vol. v. p. 26, and Squire’s Serpent Symbol, p. 181.
[378:6]Squire: Serpent Symbol, p. 181.
[379:1]The ideas entertained concerning the antiquity of the Geeta, at the time Mr. Maurice wrote his Indian Antiquities, were erroneous. This work, as we have elsewhere seen, is not as old as he supposed. The doctrine of the Trimurti in India, however, is to be found in theVeda, and epic poems, which are of an antiquity long anterior to the rise of Christianity, preceding it by many centuries. (See Monier Williams’ Indian Wisdom, p. 324, and Hinduism, pp. 109, 110-115.)
“The grand cavern pagoda of Elephants, the oldest and most magnificent temple in the world, is neither more nor less than a superb temple of a Triune God.” (Maurice: Indian Antiquities, vol. iii. p. ix.)
[379:2]Indian Antiquities, vol. i. pp. 125-127.
[379:3]Draper: Religion and Science, pp. 18-21.
[379:4]We have seen this particularly in the cases of Crishna and Buddha. Mr. Cox, speaking of the former, says: “If it be urged that the attribution to Crishna of qualities or powers belonging to the other deities is a mere device by which his devotees sought to supersede the more ancient gods, the answer must be that nothing has been done in his case which has not been done in the case of almost every other member of the great company of the gods.” (Aryan Mythology, vol. ii. p. 130.) These words apply to the case we have before us. Jesus was simply attributed with the qualities or powers which had been previously attributed to other deities. This we hope to be able to fully demonstrate in our chapter on “Explanation.”
[479:3]King’s Gnostics, p. 23.
[380:1]We have already seen that Plato and his followers taught the doctrine of the Trinity centuries before the time of Christ Jesus.
[380:2]Israel Worsley’s Enquiry, p. 54. Quoted in Higgins’ Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 116.
[380:3]”The memorable test (I. John v. 7) which asserts the unity of the three which bear witness in heaven, is condemned by the universal silence of the orthodox Fathers, ancient versions, and authentic manuscripts. It was first alleged by the Catholic Bishop whom Hunneric summoned to the Conference of Carthage (A. D. 254), or, more properly, by the four bishops who composed and published the profession of faith, in the name of their brethren.” (Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. p. 556, and note 117.) None of the ancient manuscripts now extant, above four-score in number, contain this passage. (Ibid. note 116.) In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Bible was corrected. Yet, notwithstanding these corrections, the passage is still wanting in twenty-five Latin manuscripts. (Ibid. note 116. See also Dr. Giles’ Hebrew and Christian Records, vol. ii. p. 12. Dr. Inman’s Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 886. Rev. Robert Taylor’s Diegesis, p. 421, and Reber’s Christ of Paul.)
[380:4]See Gibbon’s Rome, ii. 309.
[380:5]Chambers’s Encyclo., art. “Trinity.”
[381:1]Draper: Religion and Science, pp. 53, 54.
[382:1]Athanasius, tom. i. p. 808. Quoted in Gibbon’s Rome, vol. ii. p. 310.
Gennadius, Patriarch of Constantinople, was so much amazed by the extraordinary composition called “Athanasius’ Creed,” that he frankly pronounced it to be the work of a drunken man. (Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. p. 555, note 114.)
[382:2]Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. p. 87.
[382:3]Ibid. pp. 91, 92.
[383:1]All their writings were ordered to be destroyed, and any one found to have them in his possession was severely punished.
[383:3] Aisha Brown, “Who Invented  Trinity? “
[Main Source: “BIBLE MYTHS AND THEIR PARALLELS IN OTHER RELIGIONS” By T. W. DOANE,  1882.]
The Trinity: http://goo.gl/r037A

Buddha and Jesus Christ Compared

“The more I learn to know Buddha the more I admire him, and the sooner all mankind shall have been made acquainted with his doctrines the better it will be, for he is certainly one of the heroes of humanity.” [Fausböll]

The mythological portions of the histories of Buddha and Jesus are, without doubt, nearer in resemblance than that of any two characters of antiquity. Thecause of this we shall speak of in our chapter on “Why Christianity Prospered,” and shall content ourselves for the present by comparing the following analogies:
1. Buddha was born of the Virgin Mary,[289:1] who conceived him without carnal intercourse.[289:2]
1. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, who conceived him without carnal intercourse.[289:3]
2. The incarnation of Buddha is recorded to have been brought about by the descent of the divine power called the “Holy Ghost,” upon the Virgin Maya.[289:4]
2. The incarnation of Jesus is recorded to have been brought about by the descent of the divine power called the “Holy Ghost,” upon the Virgin Mary.[289-3]
3. When Buddha descended from the regions of the souls,[290:1] and entered the body of the Virgin Maya, her womb assumed the appearance of clear transparent crystal, in which Buddha appeared, beautiful as a flower.[290:2]
3. When Jesus descended from his heavenly seat, and entered the body of the Virgin Mary, her womb assumed the appearance of clear transparent crystal, in which Jesus appeared beautiful as a flower.[290:3]
4. The birth of Buddha was announced in the heavens by an asterimwhich was seen rising on the horizon. It is called the “Messianic Star.”[290:4]
4. The birth of Jesus was announced in the heavens by “his star,” which was seen rising on the horizon.[290:5] It might properly be called the “Messianic Star.”
5. “The son of the Virgin Maya, on whom, according to the tradition, the ‘Holy Ghost’ had descended, was said to have been born on Christmas day.”[290:6]
5. The Son of the Virgin Mary, on whom, according to the tradition, the ‘Holy Ghost’ had descended, was said to have been born on Christmas day.[290:7]
6. Demonstrations of celestial delight were manifest at the birth of Buddha. The Devas[290:8] in heaven and earth sang praises to the “Blessed One,” and said: “To day, Bodhisatwa is born on earth, to give joy and peace to men and Devas, to shed light in the dark places, and to give sight to the blind.”[290:9]
6. Demonstrations of celestial delight were manifest at the birth of Jesus. The angels in heaven and earth sang praises to the “Blessed One,” saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”[290:10]
7. “Buddha was visited by wise men who recognized in this marvelous infant all the characters of the divinity, and he had scarcely seen the day before he was hailed God of Gods.”[290:11]
7. Jesus was visited by wise men who recognized in this marvelous infant all the characters of the divinity, and he had scarcely seen the day before he was hailed God of Gods.[290:12]
8. The infant Buddha was presented with “costly jewels and precious substances.”[290:13]
8. The infant Jesus was presented with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.[290:14]
9. When Buddha was an infant, just born, he spoke to his mother, and said: “I am the greatest among men.”[290:15]
9. When Jesus was an infant in his cradle, he spoke to his mother, and said: “I am Jesus, the Son of God.”[290:16]
10. Buddha was a “dangerous child.” His life was threatened by King Bimbasara, who was advised to destroy the child, as he was liable to overthrow him.[291:1]
10. Jesus was a “dangerous child.” His life was threatened by King Herod,[291:2] who attempted to destroy the child, as he was liable to overthrow him.[291:3]
11. When sent to school, the young Buddha surprised his masters. Without having ever studied, he completely worsted all his competitors, not only in writing, but in arithmetic, mathematics, metaphysics, astrology, geometry, &c.[291:4]
11. When sent to school, Jesus surprised his master Zaccheus, who, turning to Joseph, said: “Thou hast brought a boy to me to be taught, who is more learned than any master.”[291:5]
12. “When twelve years old the child Buddha is presented in the temple. He explains and asks learned questions; he excels all those who enter into competition with him.”[291:6]
12. “And when he was twelve years old, they brought him to (the temple at) Jerusalem . . . . While in the temple among the doctors and elders, and learned men of Israel, he proposed several questions of learning, and also gave them answers.”[291:7]
13. Buddha entered a temple, on which occasion forthwith all the statues rose and threw themselves at his feet, in act of worship.[291:8]
13. “And as Jesus was going in by the ensigns, who carried the standards, the tops of them bowed down and worshiped Jesus.”[291:9]
14. “The ancestry of Gotama Buddha is traced from his father,Sodhōdana, through various individuals and races, all of royal dignity, toMaha Sammata, the first monarch of the world. Several of the names and some of the events are met with in the Puranas of the Brahmans, but it is not possible to reconcile one order of statement with the other; and it would appear that the Buddhist historians have introduced races, and invented names, that they may invest their venerated Sage with all the honors of heraldry, in addition to the attributes of divinity.”[292:1]
14. The ancestry of Jesus is traced from his father, Joseph, through various individuals, nearly all of whom were of royal dignity, to Adam, the first monarch of the world. Several of the names, and some of the events, are met with in the sacred Scriptures of the Hebrews, but it is not possible to reconcile one order of statement with the other; and it would appear that the Christian historians have invented and introduced names, that they may invest their venerated Sage with all the honors of heraldry, in addition to the attributes of divinity.[292:2]
15. When Buddha was about to go forth “to adopt a religious life,”Mara[292:3] appeared before him, to tempt him.[292:4]
15. When Jesus was about “beginning to preach,” the devil appeared before him, to tempt him.[292:5]
16. Mara said unto Buddha: “Go not forth to adopt a religious life, and in seven days thou shalt become an emperor of the world.”[292:6]
16. The devil said to Jesus: If thou wilt fall down and worship me, I will give thee all the kingdoms of the world.[292:7]
17. Buddha would not heed the words of the Evil One, and said to him: “Get thee away from me.”[292:8]
17. Jesus would not heed the words of the Evil One, and said to him: “Get thee behind me, Satan.”[292:9]
18. After Mara had left Buddha, “the skies rained flowers, and delicious odors pervaded the air.”[292:10]
18. After the devil had left Jesus, “angels came and ministered unto him.”[292:11]
19. Buddha fasted for a long period.[292:12]
19. Jesus fasted forty days and nights.[292:13]
20. Buddha, the Saviour, was baptized, and at this recorded water baptism the Spirit of God was present; that is, not only the highest God, but also the “Holy Ghost,” through whom the incarnation of Gautama Buddha is recorded to have been brought about by the descent of that Divine power upon the Virgin Maya.[292:14]
20. Jesus was baptized by John in the river Jordan, at which time the Spirit of God was present; that is, not only the highest God, but also the “Holy Ghost,” through whom the incarnation of Jesus is recorded to have been brought about, by the descent of that Divine power upon the Virgin Mary.[292:15]
21. “On one occasion toward the end of his life on earth, Gautama Buddha is reported to have been transfigured. When on a mountain in Ceylon, suddenly a flame of light descended upon him and encircled the crown of his head with a circle of light. The mount is called Pandava, or yellow-white color. It is said that ‘the glory of his person shone forth with double power,’ that his body was ‘glorious as a bright golden image,’ that he ‘shone as the brightness of the sun and moon,’ that bystanders expressed their opinion, that he could not be ‘an every-day person,’ or ‘a mortal man,’ and that his body was divided into three[293:1] parts, from each of which a ray of light issued forth.”[293:2]
21. On one occasion during his career on earth, Jesus is reported to have been transfigured: “Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart. And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment as white as the light.”[292:16]
22. “Buddha performed great miracles for the good of mankind, and the legends concerning him are full of the greatest prodigies and wonders.”[293:3]
22. Jesus performed great miracles for the good of the mankind, and the legends concerning him are full of the greatest prodigies and wonders.[293:4]
23. By prayers in the name of Buddha, his followers expect to receive the rewards of paradise.[293:5]
23. By prayers in the name of Jesus, his followers expect to receive the rewards of paradise.
24. When Buddha died and was buried, “the coverings of the body unrolled themselves, and the lid of his coffin was opened by supernatural powers.”[293:6]
24. When Jesus died and was buried, the coverings of the body were unrolled from off him, and his tomb was opened by supernatural powers.[293:7]
25. Buddha ascended bodily to the celestial regions, when his mission on earth was fulfilled.[293:8]
25. Jesus ascended bodily to the celestial regions, when his mission on earth was fulfilled.[293:9]
26. Buddha is to come upon the earth again in the latter days, his mission being to restore the world to order and happiness.[293:10]
26. Jesus is to come upon the earth again in the latter days, his mission being to restore the world to order and happiness.[293:11]
27. Buddha is to be judge of the dead.[293:12]
27. Jesus is to be judge of the dead.[293:13]
28. Buddha is Alpha and Omega, without beginning or end, “the Supreme Being, the Eternal One.”[293:14]
28. Jesus is Alpha and Omega, without beginning or end,[293:15] “the Supreme Being, the Eternal One.”[293:16]
29. Buddha is represented as saying: “Let all the sins that were committed in this world fall on me, that the world may be delivered.”[293:17]
29. Jesus is represented as the Saviour of mankind, and all the sins that are committed in this world may fall on him, that the world may be delivered.[293:18]
30. Buddha said: “Hide your good deeds, and confess before the world the sins you have committed.”[293:19]
30. Jesus taught men to hide their good deeds,[293:20] and confess before the world the sins they had committed.[293:21]
31. “Buddha was described as a superhuman organ of light, to whom a superhuman organ of darkness, Mara or Naga, the Evil Serpent, was opposed.”[294:1]
31. Jesus was described as a superhuman organ of light—”the Sun of Righteousness”[294:2]—opposed by “the old Serpent,” the Satan, hinderer, or adversary.[294:3]
32. Buddha came, not to destroy, but to fulfill, the law. He delighted in “representing himself as a mere link in a long chain of enlightened teachers.”[294:4]
32. Jesus said: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”[294:5]
33. “One day Ananda, the disciple of Buddha, after a long walk in the country, meets with Mâtangî, a woman of the low caste of the Kândâlas, near a well, and asks her for some water. She tells him what she is, and that she must not come near him. But he replies, ‘My sister, I ask not for thy caste or thy family, I ask only for a draught of water.’ She afterwards became a disciple of Buddha.”[294:6]
33. One day Jesus, after a long walk, cometh to the city of Samaria, and being wearied with his journey, sat on a well. While there, a woman of Samaria came to draw water, and Jesus said unto her: “give me to drink.” “Then said the woman unto him: How is it that thou, being a Jew, asketh drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”[294:7]
34. “According to Buddha, the motive of all our actions should be pity orlove for our neighbor.”[294:8]
34. “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you.”[294:9]
35. During the early part of his career as a teacher, “Buddha went to the city of Benares, and there delivered a discourse, by which Kondanya, and afterwards four others, were induced to become his disciples. From that period, whenever he preached, multitudes of men and women embraced his doctrines.”[294:10]
35. During the early part of his career as a teacher, Jesus went to the city of Capernaum, and there delivered a discourse. It was at this time thatfour fishermen were induced to become his disciples.[294:11] From that period, whenever he preached, multitudes of men and women embraced his doctrines.[294:12]
36. Those who became disciples of Buddha were told that they must “renounce the world,” give up all their riches, and avow poverty.[294:13]
36. Those who became disciples of Jesus were told that they must renounce the world, give up all their riches, and avow poverty.[294:14]
37. It is recorded in the “Sacred Canon” of the Buddhists that the multitudes “required a sign” from Buddha “that they might believe.”[295:1]
37. It is recorded in the “Sacred Canon” of the Christians that the multitudes required a sign from Jesus that they might believe.[295:2]
38. When Buddha’s time on earth was about coming to a close, he, “foreseeing the things that would happen in future times,” said to his disciple Ananda: “Ananda, when I am gone, you must not think there is no Buddha; the discourses I have delivered, and the precepts I have enjoined, must be my successors, or representatives, and be to you as Buddha.”[295:3]
38. When Jesus’ time on earth was about coming to a close, he told of the things that would happen in future times,[295:4] and said unto his disciples: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”[295:5]
39. In the Buddhist Somadeva, is to be found the following: “To give away our riches is considered the most difficult virtue in the world; he who gives away his riches is like a man who gives away his life: for our very life seems to cling to our riches. But Buddha, when his mind was moved by pity, gave his life like grass, for the sake of others; why should we think of miserable riches! By this exalted virtue, Buddha, when he was freed from all desires, and had obtained divine knowledge, attained unto Buddhahood. Therefore let a wise man, after he has turned away his desires from all pleasures, do good to all beings, even unto sacrificing his own life, that thus he may attain to true knowledge.”[295:6]
39. “And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? . . . Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”[295:7] “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”[295:8]
40. Buddha’s aim was to establish a “Religious Kingdom,” a “Kingdom of Heaven.”[296:1]
40. “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for theKingdom of Heaven is at hand.”[296:2]
41. Buddha said: “I now desire to turn the wheel of the excellent law.[296:3]For this purpose am I going to the city of Benares,[296:4] to give light to those enshrouded in darkness, and to open the gate of Immortality to man.”[296:5]
41. Jesus, after his temptation by the devil, began to establish the dominion of his religion, and he went for this purpose to the city of Capernaum. “The people which sat in darkness saw great light, and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up.”[296:6]
42. Buddha said: “Though the heavens were to fall to earth, and the great world be swallowed up and pass away: Though Mount Sumera were to crack to pieces, and the great ocean be dried up, yet, Ananda, be assured, the words of Buddha are true.”[296:7]
42. “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”[296:8]

Verily I say unto you . . . heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”[296:9]

43. Buddha said: “There is no passion more violent than voluptuousness. Happily there is but one such passion. If there were two, not a man in the whole universe could follow the truth.” “Beware of fixing your eyes upon women. If you find yourself in their company, let it be as though you were not present. If you speak with them, guard well your hearts.”[296:10]
43. Jesus said: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time. Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”[296:11]
44. Buddha said: “A wise man should avoid married life as if it were a burning pit of live coals. One who is not able to live in a state of celibacy should not commit adultery.”[297:1]
44. “It is good for a man not to touch a woman,” “but if they cannot contain let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn.” “To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband.”[297:2]
45. “Buddhism is convinced that if a man reaps sorrow, disappointment, pain, he himself, and no other, must at some time have sown folly, error, sin; and if not in this life then in some former birth.”[297:3]
45. “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind.”[297:4]
46. Buddha knew the thoughts of others: “By directing his mind to the thoughts of others, he can know the thoughts of all beings.”[297:5]
46. Jesus knew the thoughts of others. By directing his mind to the thoughts of others, he knew the thoughts of all beings.[297:6]
47. In the Somadeva a story is related of a Buddhist ascetic whose eye offended him, he therefore plucked it out, and cast it away.[297:7]
47. It is related in the New Testament that Jesus said: “If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee.”[297:8]
48. When Buddha was about to become an ascetic, and when riding on the horse “Kantako,” his path was strewn with flowers, thrown there by Devas.[297:9]
48. When Jesus was entering Jerusalem, riding on an ass, his path was strewn with palm branches, thrown there by the multitude.[297:10]
Never were devotees of any creed or faith as fast bound in its thraldom as are the disciples of Gautama Buddha. For nearly two thousand four hundred years it has been the established religion of Burmah, Siam, Laos, Pega, Cambodia, Thibet, Japan, Tartary, Ceylon and Loo-Choo, and many neighboring islands, beside about two-thirds of China and a large portion of Siberia; and at the present day no inconsiderable number of the simple peasantry of Swedish Lapland are found among its firm adherents.[297:11]
Well authenticated records establish indisputably the facts, that together with a noble physique, superior mental endowments, and high moral excellence, there were found in Buddha a purity of life, sanctity of character, and simple integrity of purpose, that commended themselves to all brought under his influence. Even at this distant day, one cannot listen with tearless eyes to the touching details of his pure, earnest life, and patient endurance under contradiction, often fierce persecution for those he sought to benefit. Altogether he seems to have been one of those remarkable examples, of genius and virtue occasionally met with, unaccountably superior to the age and nation that produced them.
There is no reason to believe that he ever arrogated to himself any higher authority than that of a teacher of religion, but, as in modern factions, there were readily found among his followers those who carried his peculiar tenets much further than their founder. These, not content with lauding during his life-time the noble deeds of their teacher, exalted him, within a quarter of a century after his death, to a place among their deities—worshiping as a God one they had known only as a simple-hearted, earnest, truth-seeking philanthropist.[298:1]
This worship was at first but the natural upgushing of the veneration and love Gautama had inspired during his noble life, and his sorrowing disciples, mourning over the desolation his death had occasioned, turned for consolation to the theory that he still lived.
Those who had known him in life cherished his name as the very synonym of all that was generous and good, and it required but a step to exalt him to divine honors; and so it was that Gautama Buddha became a God, and continues to be worshiped as such.
For more than forty years Gautama thus dwelt among his followers, instructing them daily in the sacred law, and laying down many rules for their guidance when he should be no longer with them.[299:1]
He lived in a style the most simple and unostentatious, bore uncomplainingly the weariness and privations incident to the many long journeys made for the propagation of the new faith; and performed countless deeds of love and mercy.
“When the time came for him to be perfected, he directed his followers no longer to remain together, but to go out in companies, and proclaim the doctrines he had taught them, found schools and monasteries, build temples, and perform acts of charity, that they might ‘obtain merit,’ and gain access to the blessed shade of Nigban, which he told them he was about to enter, and where they believe he has now reposed more than two thousand years.”
To the pious Buddhist it seems irreverent to speak of Gautama by his mere ordinary and human name, and he makes use therefore, of one of those numerous epithets which are used only of the Buddha, “the Enlightened One.” Such are Sakya-sinha, “the Lion of the Tribe of Sakya;” Sakya-muni, “the Sakya Sage;” Sugata, “the Happy One;” Sattha, “the Teacher;” Jina, “the Conqueror;” Bhagavad, “the Blessed One;” Loka-natha, “the Lord of the World;”Sarvajna, “the Omniscient One;” Dharma-raja, “the King of Righteousness;” he is also called “the Author of Happiness,” “the Possessor of All,” “the Supreme Being,” “the Eternal One,” “the Dispeller of Pain and Trouble,” “the Guardian of the Universe,” “the Emblem of Mercy,” “the Saviour of the World,” “the Great Physician,” “the God among Gods,” “the Anointed” or “the Christ,” “the Messiah,” “the Only-Begotten,” “the Heaven-Descended Mortal,” “the Way of Life, and of Immortality,” &c.[299:2]
At no time did Buddha receive his knowledge from a human source, that is, from flesh and blood. His source was the power of his divine wisdom, the spiritual power of Maya, which he already possessed before his incarnation. It was by this divine power, which is also called the “Holy Ghost,” that he became the Saviour, the Kung-teng, the Anointed or Messiah, to whom prophecies had pointed. Buddha was regarded as the supernatural light of the world; and this world to which he came was his own, his possession, for he is styled: “The Lord of the World.”[300:1]
“Gautama Buddha taught that all men are brothers;[300:2] that charity ought to be extended to all, even to enemies; that men ought to love truth and hate the lie; that good works ought not be done openly, but rather in secret; that the dangers of riches are to be avoided; that man’s highest aim ought to be purity in thought, word and deed, since the higher beings are pure, whose nature is akin to that of man.”[300:3]
“Sakya-Muni healed the sick, performed miracles and taught his doctrines to the poor. He selected his first disciples among laymen, and even two women, the mother and wife of his first convert, the sick Yasa, became his followers. He subjected himself to the religious obligations imposed by the recognized authorities, avoided strife, and illustrated his doctrines by his life.”[300:4]
It is said that eighty thousand followers of Buddha went forth from Hindostan, as missionaries to other lands; and the traditions of various countries are full of legends concerning their benevolence, holiness, and miraculous power. His religion has never been propagated by the sword. It has been effected entirely by the influence of peaceable and persevering devotees.[300:5] The era of the Siamese is the death of Buddha. In Ceylon, they date from the introduction of his religion into their island. It is supposed to be more extensively adopted than any religion that ever existed. Its votaries are computed at four hundred millions; more than one-third of the whole human race.[300:6]
There is much contradiction among writers concerning the date of the Buddhist religion. This confusion arises from the fact that there are several Buddhas,[301:1] objects of worship; because the word is not a name, but a title, signifying an extraordinary degree of holiness. Those who have examined the subject most deeply have generally agreed that Buddha Sakai, from whom the religion takes its name, must have been a real, historical personage, who appeared many centuries before the time assigned for the birth of Christ Jesus.[301:2] There are many things to confirm this supposition. In some portions of India, his religion appears to have flourished for a long time side by side with that of the Brahmans. This is shown by the existence of many ancient temples, some of them cut in subterranean rock, with an immensity of labor, which it must have required a long period to accomplish. In those old temples, his statues represent him with hair knotted all over his head, which was a very ancient custom with the anchorites of Hindostan, before the practice of shaving the headwas introduced among their devotees.[301:3] His religion is also mentioned in one of the very ancient epic poems of India. The severity of the persecution indicates that their numbers and influence had became formidable to the Brahmans, who had everything to fear from a sect which abolished hereditary priesthood, and allowed the holy of all castes to become teachers.[301:4]
It may be observed that in speaking of the pre-existence of Buddha in heaven—his birth of a virgin—the songs of the angels at his birth—his recognition as a divine child—his disputation with the doctors—his temptation in the wilderness—his transfiguration on the Mount—his life of preaching and working miracles—and finally, his ascension into heaven, we referred to Prof. Samuel Beal’s “History of Buddha,” as one of our authorities. This work is simply a translation of the “Fo-pen-hing,” made by Professor Beal from a Chinese copy, in the “Indian Office Library.”
Now, in regard to the antiquity of this work, we will quote the words of the translator in speaking on this subject.
First, he says:
We know that the Fo-pen-hing was translated into Chinese from Sanscrit (the ancient language of Hindostan) so early as the eleventh year of the reign of Wing-ping (Ming-ti), of the Han dynasty, i. e., 69 or 70 A. D. We may, therefore, safely suppose that the original work was in circulation in India for some time previous to this date.[302:1]
Again, he says:
“There can be no doubt that the present work (i. e. the Fo-pen-hing, or Hist. of Buddha) contains as a woof (so to speak) some of the earliest verses (Gâthas) in which the History of Buddha was sung, long before the work itself was penned.
“These Gâthas were evidently composed in different Prakrit forms (during a period of disintegration) before the more modern type of Sanscrit was fixed by the rules of Panini, and the popular epics of the Mâhabharata and the Ramâyana.”[302:2]
Again, in speaking of the points of resemblance in the history of Buddha and Jesus, he says:
“These points of agreement with the Gospel narrative naturally arouse curiosity and require explanation. If we could prove that they (the legends related of Buddha) were unknown in the East for some centuries after Christ, the explanation would be easy. But all the evidence we have goes to prove the contrary.
“It would be a natural inference that many of the events in the legend of Buddha were borrowed from the Apocryphal Gospels, if we were quite certain that these Apocryphal Gospels had not borrowed from it. How then may we explain the matter? It would be better at once to say that in our present state of knowledge there is no complete explanation to offer.”[302:3]
There certainly is no “complete explanation” to be offered by one who attempts to uphold the historical accuracy of the New Testament. The “Devil” and “Type” theories having vanished, like all theories built on sand, nothing now remains for the honest man to do but acknowledge the truth, which is, that the history of Jesus of Nazareth as related in the books of the New Testament, is simply a copy of that of Buddha, with a mixture of mythology borrowed from other nations. Ernest de Bunsen almost acknowledges this when he says:
“With the remarkable exception of the death of Jesus on the cross, and of the doctrine of atonement by vicarious suffering, which is absolutely excluded by Buddhism, the most ancient of the Buddhistic records known to us contain statements about the life and the doctrines of Gautama Buddha which correspond in a remarkable manner, and impossibly by mere chance, with the traditions recorded in the Gospels about the life and doctrines of Jesus Christ. It is still more strange that these Buddhistic legends about Gautama as the Angel-Messiah refer to a doctrine which we find only in the Epistles of Paul and in the fourth Gospel. This can be explained by the assumption of a common source of revelation; but then the serious question must be considered, why the doctrine of the Angel-Messiah, supposing it to have been revealed, and which we find in the East and in the West, is not contained in any of the Scriptures of the Old Testament which can possibly have been written before the Babylonian Captivity, nor in the first three Gospels.Can the systematic keeping-back of essential truth be attributed to God or to man?[303:1]
Beside the work referred to above as being translated by Prof. Beal, there is another copy originally composed in verse. This was translated by the learned Fonceau, who gives it an antiquity of two thousand years, “although the original treatise must be attributed to an earlier date.”[303:2]
In regard to the teachings of Buddha, which correspond so strikingly with those of Jesus, Prof. Rhys Davids, says:
“With regard to Gautama’s teaching we have more reliable authority than we have with regard to his life. It is true that none of the books of the Three Pitakas can at present be satisfactorily traced back before the Council of Asoka, held at Patna, about 250 B. C., that is to say, at least one hundred and thirty years after the death of the teacher; but they undoubtedly contain a great deal of much older matter.”[303:3]
Prof. Max Müller says:
“Between the language of Buddha and his disciples, and the language of Christ and his apostles, there are strange coincidences. Even some of the Buddhist legends and parables sound as if taken from the New Testament; though we know that many of them existed before the beginning of the Christian Era.”[303:4]
Just as many of the myths related of the Hindoo Saviour Crishna were previously current regarding some of the Vedic gods, so likewise, many of the mythspreviously current regarding the god Sumana, worshiped both on Adam’s peak, and at the cave of Dambulla, were added to the Buddha myth.[303:5] Much of the legend which was transferred to the Buddha, had previously existed, and had clustered around the idea of a Chakrawarti.[303:6] Thus we see that the legend of Christ Buddha, as with the legend of Christ Jesus, existed before his time.[303:7]
We have established the fact then—and no man can produce better authorities—that Buddha and Buddhism, which correspond in such a remarkable manner with Jesus and Christianity, were long anterior to the Christian era. Now, as Ernest de Bunsen says, this remarkable similarity in the histories of the founders and their religion, could not possibly happen by chance.
Whenever two religious or legendary histories of mythological personages resemble each other so completely as do the histories and teachings of Buddha and Jesus, the older must be the parent, and the younger the child. We must therefore conclude that, since the history of Buddha and Buddhism is very much older than that of Jesus and Christianity, the Christians are incontestably either sectarians or plagiarists of the religion of the Buddhists.


FOOTNOTES:
[289:1]Maya, and Mary, as we have already seen, are one and the same name.
[289:2]See chap. xii. Buddha is considered to be an incarnation of Vishnu, although he preached against the doctrines of the Brahmans. The adoption of Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu was really owning to the desire of the Brahmans to effect a compromise with Buddhism. (See Williams’ Hinduism, pp. 82 and 108.)
“Buddha was brought forth not from the matrix, but from the right side, of a virgin.” (De Guignes: Hist. des Huns, tom. i. p. 224.)
“Some of the (Christian) heretics maintained that Christ was born from the side of his mother.” (Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 157.)
“In the eyes of the Buddhists, this personage is sometimes a man and sometimes a god, or rather both one and the other, a divine incarnation, a man-god; who came into the world to enlighten men, to redeem them, and to indicate to them the way of safety. This idea of redemption by a divine incarnation is so general and popular among the Buddhists, that during our travels in Upper Asia, we everywhere found it expressed in a neat formula. If we addressed to a Mongol or Thibetan the question, ‘Who is Buddha?’ he would immediately reply, ‘The Saviour of Men.'” (M. L’Abbé Huc: Travels, vol. i. p. 326.)
“The miraculous birth of Buddha, his life and instructions, contain a great number of the moral and dogmatic truths professed in Christianity.” (Ibid. p. 327.)
“He in mercy left paradise, and came down to earth because he was filled with compassion for the sins and misery of mankind. He sought to lead them into better paths, and took their sufferings upon himself, that he might expiate their crimes, and mitigate the punishment they must otherwise inevitably undergo.” (L. Maria Child.)
[289:3]Matt. ch. i.
[289:4]See Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, pp. 10, 25 and 44. Also, ch. xiii. this work.
[290:1]“As a spirit in the fourth heaven he resolves to give up all that glory in order to be born in the world for the purpose of rescuing all men from their misery and every future consequence of it: he vows to deliver all men who are left as it were without a Saviour.” (Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 20.)
[290:2]See King’s Gnostics, p. 168, and Hardy’s Manual of Buddhism, p. 144.
[290:3]See chap. xii. note 2, page 117.
“On a painted glass of the sixteenth century, found in the church of Jouy, a little village in France, the Virgin is represented standing, her hands clasped in prayer, and the naked body of the child in the same attitude appears upon her stomach, apparently supposed to be seen through the garments and body of the mother. M. Drydon saw at Lyons a Salutation painted on shutters, in which the two infants (Jesus and John) likewise depicted on their mothers’ stomachs, were also saluting each other. This precisely corresponds to Buddhist accounts of the Boddhisattvas ante-natal proceedings.” (Viscount Amberly: Analysis of Relig. Belief, p. 224, note.)
[290:4]See chap. xiii.
[290:5]Matt. ii. 1, 2.
[290:6]Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. x.
[290:7]We show, in our chapter on “The Birth-Day of Christ Jesus,” that this was not the case. This day was adopted by his followers long after his death.
[290:8]Devas,” i. e., angels.
[290:10]Luke, ii. 13, 14.
[290:12]Matt. ii. 1-11.
[290:14]Matt. ii. 11.
[290:15]See Hardy’s Manual of Buddhism, pp. 145, 146.
[290:16]Gospel of Infancy, Apoc., i. 3. No sooner was Apollo born than he spoke to his virgin-mother, declaring that he should teach to men the councils of his heavenly father Zeus. (See Cox: Aryan Mythology, vol. ii. p. 22.) Hermes spoke to his mother as soon as he was born, and, according to Jewish tradition, so did Moses. (See Hardy’s Manual of Buddhism, p. 145.)
[291:1]See Beal: Hist. Buddha, pp. 103, 104.
[291:2]See Matt. ii. 1.
[291:3]That is, provided he was the expected Messiah, who was to be a mighty prince and warrior, and who was to rule his people Israel.
[291:4]See Hardy’s Manual of Buddhism; Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah; Beal’s Hist. Buddha, and other works on Buddhism.
This was a common myth. For instance: A Brahman called Dashthaka, a “heaven descended mortal,” after his birth, without any human instruction whatever, was able thoroughly to explain the four Vedas, the collective body of the sacred writings of the Hindoos, which were considered as directly revealed by Brahma. (See Beal’s Hist. Buddha, p. 48.)
Confucius, the miraculous-born Chinese sage, was a wonderful child. At the age of seven he went to a public school, the superior of which was a person of eminent wisdom and piety. The faculty with which Confucius imbibed the lessons of his master, the ascendency which he acquired amongst his fellow pupils, and the superiority of his genius and capacity, raised universal admiration. He appeared to acquire knowledge intuitively, and his mother found it superfluous to teach him what “heaven had already engraven upon his heart.” (See Thornton’s Hist. China, vol. i. p. 153.)
[291:5]See Infancy, Apoc., xx. 11, and Luke, ii. 46, 47.
[291:6]See Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 37, and Beal: Hist. Buddha, pp. 67-69.
[291:7]See Infancy, Apoc., xxi. 1, 2, and Luke, ii. 41-48.
[291:8]See Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 37, and Beal: Hist. Bud. 67-69.
[291:9]Nicodemus, Apoc., ch. i. 20.
[292:1]R. Spence Hardy, in Manual of Buddhism.
[292:3]Mara” is the “Author of Evil,” the “King of Death,” the “God of the World of Pleasure,” &c., i. e., the Devil. (See Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. 36.)
[292:5]Matt. iv. 1-18.
[292:7]Matt. iv. 8-19.
[292:9]Luke, iv. 8.
[292:11]Matt. iv. 11.
[292:13]Matt. iv. 2.
[292:14]Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 45.
[292:15]Matt. iii. 13-17.
[292:16]Matt. xvii. 1, 2.
[293:1]This has evidently an allusion to the Trinity. Buddha, as an incarnation of Vishnu, would be one god and yet three, three gods and yet one. (See the chapter on the Trinity.)
[293:2]See Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 45, and Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. 177.
Iamblichus, the great Neo-Platonic mystic, was at one time transfigured. According to the report of his servants, while in prayer to the gods, his body and clothes were changed to a beautiful gold color, but after he ceased from prayer, his body became as before. He then returned to the society of his followers. (Primitive Culture, i. 136, 137.)
[293:4]See that recorded in Matt. viii. 28-34.
[293:6]Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 49.
[293:7]See Matt. xxviii. John, xx.
[293:9]See Acts, i. 9-12.
[293:13]Matt. xvi. 27; John, v. 22.
[293:14]“Buddha, the Angel-Messiah, was regarded as the divinely chosen and incarnate messenger, the vicar of God, and God himself on earth.” (Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 33. See also, our chap. xxvi.)
[293:15]Rev. i. 8; xxii. 13.
[293:16]John, i. 1. Titus, ii. 13. Romans, ix. 5. Acts, vii. 59, 60.
[293:17]Müller: Hist. Sanscrit Literature, p. 80.
[293:18]This is according to Christian dogma:
“Jesus paid it all,All to him is due,Nothing, either great or small,Remains for me to do.”
[293:19]Müller: Science of Religion, p. 28.
[293:20]“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your father which is in heaven.” (Matt. vi. 1.)
[293:21]“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” (James, v. 16.)
[294:1]Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, pp. x. and 39.
[294:2]“That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” (John, i. 9.)
[294:3]Matt. iv. 1; Mark, i. 13; Luke, iv. 2.
[294:4]Müller: Science of Religion, p. 140.
[294:5]Matt. v. 17.
[294:6]Müller: Science of Religion, p. 243. See also, Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, pp. 47, 48, and Amberly’s Analysis, p. 285.
[294:7]John, iv. 1-11.
Just as the Samaritan woman wondered that Jesus, a Jew, should ask drink of her, one of a nation with whom the Jews had no dealings, so this young Matangi warned Ananda of her caste, which rendered it unlawful for her to approach a monk. And as Jesus continued, nevertheless, to converse with the woman, so Ananda did not shrink from this outcast damsel. And as the disciples “marvelled” that Jesus should have conversed with this member of a despised race, so the respectable Brahmans and householders who adhered to Brahmanism were scandalized to learn that the young Matangi had been admitted to the order of mendicants.
[294:8]Müller: Religion of Science, p. 249.
[294:9]Matt. v. 44.
[294:10]Hardy: Eastern Monachism, p. 6.
[294:11]See Matt. iv. 13-25.
[294:12]“And there followed him great multitudes of people.” (Matt. iv. 25.)
[294:13]Hardy: Eastern Monachism, pp. 6 and 62 et seq.
While at Rajageiha Buddha called together his followers and addressed them at some length on the means requisite for Buddhist salvation. This sermon was summed up in the celebrated verse:
“To cease from all sin,To get virtue,To cleanse one’s own heart—This is the religion of the Buddhas.”
(Rhys David’s Buddha, p. 62.)
[294:14]See Matt. viii. 19, 20; xvi. 25-28.
[295:1]Müller: Science of Religion, p. 27.
[295:2]Hardy: Eastern Monachism, p. 230.
“Gautama Buddha is said to have announced to his disciples that the time of his departure had come: ‘Arise, let us go hence, my time is come.’ Turned toward the East and with folded arms he prayed to the highest spirit who inhabits the region of purest light, to Maha-Brahma, to the king in heaven, to Devaraja, who from his throne looked down on Gautama, and appeared to him in a self-chosen personality.” (Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah. Compare with Matt. xxvi. 36-47.)
[295:3]“Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.” (Matt. xii. 38.)
[295:4]See Matt. xxiv; Mark, viii. 31; Luke, ix. 18.
[295:5]Mark, xxviii. 18-20.
Buddha at one time said to his disciples: “Go ye now, and preach the most excellent law, expounding every point thereof, and unfolding it with care and attention in all its bearings and particulars. Explain the beginning, the middle, and the end of the law, to all men without exception; let everything respecting it be made publicly known and brought to the broad daylight.” (Rhys David’s Buddhism, p. 55, 56.)
When Buddha, just before his death, took his last formal farewell of his assembled followers, he said unto them: “Oh mendicants, thoroughly learn, and practice, and perfect, and spread abroad the law thought out and revealed by me, in order that this religion of mine may last long, and be perpetuated for the good and happiness of the great multitudes, out of pity for the world, to the advantage and prosperity of gods and men.” (Ibid. p. 172.)
[295:6]Müller: Science of Religion, p. 244.
[295:7]Matt. xix. 16-21.
[295:8]Matt. vi. 19, 20.
[296:1]Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. x, note.
[296:2]Matt. iv. 17.
[296:3]i. e., to establish the dominion of religion. (See Beal: p. 244, note.)
[296:4]The Jerusalem, the Rome, or the Mecca of India.
This celebrated city of Benares, which has a population of 200,000, out of which at least 25,000 are Brahmans, was probably one of the first to acquire a fame for sanctity, and it has always maintained its reputation as the most sacred spot in all India. Here, in this fortress of Hindooism, Brahmanism displays itself in all its plentitude and power. Here the degrading effect of idolatry is visibly demonstrated as it is nowhere else except in the extreme south of India. Here, temples, idols, and symbols, sacred wells, springs, and pools, are multiplied beyond all calculation. Here every particle of ground is believed to be hallowed, and the very air holy. The number of temples is at least two thousand, not counting innumerable smaller shrines. In the principal temple of Siva, called Visvesvara, are collected in one spot several thousand idols and symbols, the whole number scattered throughout the city, being, it is thought, at least half a million.
Benares, indeed, must always be regarded as the Hindoo’s Jerusalem. The desire of a pious man’s life is to accomplish at least one pilgrimage to what he regards as a portion of heaven let down upon earth; and if he can die within the holy circuit of the Pancakosi stretching with a radius of ten miles around the city—nay, if any human being die there, be he Asiatic or European—no previously incurred guilt, however heinous, can prevent his attainment of celestial bliss.
[296:5]Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. 245.
[296:6]Matt. iv. 13-17.
[296:7]Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. 11.
[296:8]John, i. 17.
[296:9]Luke, xxi. 32, 33.
[296:10]Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 228.
[296:11]Matt. v. 27, 28.
On one occasion Buddha preached a sermon on the five senses and the heart (which he regarded as a sixth organ of sense), which pertained to guarding against the passion of lust. Rhys Davids, who, in speaking of this sermon, says: “One may pause and wonder at finding such a sermon preached so early in the history of the world—more than 400 years before the rise of Christianity—and among a people who have long been thought peculiarly idolatrous and sensual.” (Buddhism, p. 60.)
[297:1]Rhys Davids’ Buddhism, p. 138.
[297:2]I. Corinth. vii. 1-7.
[297:3]Rhys Davids’ Buddhism, p. 103.
[297:4]John, ix. 1, 2.
This is the doctrine of transmigration clearly taught. If this man was born blind, as punishment for some sin committed by him, this sin must have been committed in some former birth.
[297:5]Hardy: Buddhist Legends, p. 181.
[297:6]See the story of his conversation with the woman of Samaria. (John, iv. 1.) And with the woman who was cured of the “bloody issue.” (Matt. ix. 20.)
[297:7]Müller: Science of Religion, p. 245.
[297:8]Matt. v. 29.
[297:9]Hardy: Buddhist Legends, p. 134.
[297:10]Matt. xxi. 1-9.
Bacchus rode in a triumphal procession, on approaching the city of Thebes. “Pantheus, the king, who had no respect for the new worship (instituted by Bacchus) forbade its rites to be performed. But when it was known that Bacchus was advancing, men and women, but chiefly the latter, young and old, poured forth to meet him and to join his triumphal march. . . . It was in vain Pantheus remonstrated, commanded and threatened. ‘Go,’ said he to his attendants, ‘seize this vagabond leader of the rout and bring him to me. I will soon make him confess his false claim of heavenly parentage and renounce his counterfeit worship.'” (Bulfinch: Age of Fable, p. 222. Compare with Matt. xxvi.; Luke, xxii.; John xviii.)
[297:11]“There are few names among the men of the West that stand forth as saliently as Gotama Buddha, in the annals of the East. In little more than two centuries from his decease the system he established had spread throughout the whole of India, overcoming opposition the most formidable, and binding together the most discordant elements; and at the present moment Buddhism is the prevailing religion, under various modifications, of Tibet, Nepal, Siam, Burma, Japan, and South Ceylon; and in China it has a position of at least equal prominence with its two great rivals, Confucianism and Taouism. A long time its influence extended throughout nearly three-fourths of Asia; from the steppes of Tartary to the palm groves of Ceylon, and from the vale of Cashmere to the isles of Japan.” (R. Spence Hardy: Buddhist Leg. p. xi.)
[298:1]“Gautama was very early regarded as omniscient, and absolutely sinless. His perfect wisdom is declared by the ancient epithet ofSamma-sambuddha, ‘the Completely Enlightened One;’ found at the commencement of every Pali text; and at the present day, in Ceylon, the usual way in which Gautama is styled is Sarwajnan-wahanse,’ the Venerable Omniscient One.’ From his perfect wisdom, according to Buddhist belief, his sinlessness would follow as a matter of course. He was the first and the greatest of the Arahats. As a consequence of this doctrine the belief soon sprang up that he could not have been, that he was not, born as ordinary men are; that he had no earthly father; that he descended of his own accord into his mother’s womb from his throne in heaven; and that he gave unmistakable signs, immediately after his birth of his high character and of his future greatness.” (Rhys Davids’ Buddhism, p. 162.)
[299:1]Gautama Buddha left behind him no written works, but the Buddhists believe that he composed works which his immediate disciples learned by heart in his life-time, and which were handed down by memory in their original state until they were committed to writing. This is not impossible: it is known that the Vedas were handed down in this manner for many hundreds of years, and none would now dispute the enormous powers of memory to which Indian priests and monks attained, when written books were not invented, or only used as helps to memory. Even though they are well acquainted with writing, the monks in Ceylon do not use books in their religions services, but, repeat, for instance, the whole of the Patimokkha on Uposatha (Sabbath) days by heart. (See Rhys Davids’ Buddhism, pp. 9, 10.)
[299:2]Compare this with the names, titles, and characters given to Jesus. He is called the “Deliverer,” (Acts, vii. 35); the “First Begotten” (Rev. i. 5); “God blessed forever” (Rom. ix. 5); the “Holy One” (Luke, iv. 34; Acts, iii. 14); the “King Everlasting” (Luke, i. 33); “King of Kings” (Rev. xvii. 14); “Lamb of God” (John, i. 29, 36); “Lord of Glory” (I. Cor. ii. 8); “Lord of Lords” (Rev. xvii. 14); “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev. v. 5); “Maker and Preserver of all things” (John, i. 3, 10; I. Cor. viii. 6; Col. i. 16); “Prince of Peace” (Isai. ix. 6); “Redeemer,” “Saviour,” “Mediator,” “Word,” &c., &c.
[300:1]Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 41.
[300:2]“He joined to his gifts as a thinker a prophetic ardor and missionary zeal which prompted him to popularize his doctrine, and to preach to all without exception, men and women, high and low, ignorant and learned alike.” (Rhys Davids’ Buddhism, p. 53.)
[300:3]Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 45.
[300:4]Ibid. p. 46.
[300:5]“The success of Buddhism was in great part due to the reverence the Buddha inspired by his own personal character. He practiced honestly what he preached enthusiastically. He was sincere, energetic, earnest, self-sacrificing, and devout. Adherents gathered in thousands around the person of the consistent preacher, and the Buddha himself became the real centre of Buddhism.” (Williams’ Hinduism, p. 102.)
[300:6]“It may be said to be the prevailing religion of the world. Its adherents are estimated at four hundred millions, more than a third of the human race.” (Chambers’s Encyclo., art. “Buddhism.” See also, Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 251.)
[301:1]It should be understood that the Buddha of this chapter, and in fact, the Buddha of this work, is Gautama Buddha, the Sakya Prince. According to Buddhist belief there have been many different Buddhas on earth. The names of twenty-four of the Buddhas who appeared previous to Gautama have been handed down to us. The Buddhavansa or “History of the Buddhas,” gives the lives of all the previous Buddhas before commencing the account of Gautama himself. (See Rhys Davids’ Buddhism, pp. 179, 180.)
[301:2]“The date usually fixed for Buddha’s death is 543 B. C. Whether this precise year for one of the greatest epochs in the religious history of the human race can be accepted is doubtful, but it is tolerably certain that Buddhism arose in Behar and Eastern Hindustan about five centuries B. C.; and that it spread with great rapidity, not by force of arms, or coercion of any kind, like Muhammedanism, but by the sheer persuasiveness of its doctrine.” (Monier Williams’ Hinduism, p. 72.)
[301:3]“Of the high antiquity of Buddhism there is much collateral as well as direct evidence—evidence that neither internecine nor foreign strife, not even religious persecution, has been able to destroy. . . . Witness the gigantic images in the caves of Elephanta, near Bombay and those of Lingi Sara, in the interior of Java, all of which are known to have been in existence at least four centuries prior to our Lord’s advent.” (The Mammoth Religion.)
[301:4]Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 250.
[302:1]Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. vi.
[302:2]Ibid. pp. x. and xi.
[302:3]Ibid. pp. vii., ix. and note.
[303:1]Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 50.
[303:2]Quoted by Prof. Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. viii.
[303:3]Rhys Davids’ Buddhism, p. 86.
[303:4]Science of Religion, p. 243.
[303:5]Rhys Davids’ Buddhism.
[303:6]Ibid. p. 184.                          
“It is surprising,” says Rhys Davids, “that, like Romans worshiping Augustus, or Greeks adding the glow of the sun-myth to the glory of Alexander, the Indians should have formed an ideal of their Chakravarti, and transferred to this new ideal many of the dimly sacred and half understood traits of the Vedic heroes? Is it surprising that the Buddhists should have found it edifying to recognize in their hero the Chakravarti of Righteousness, and that the story of the Buddha should be tinged with the coloring of these Chakravarti myths?” (Ibid. Buddhism, p. 220.)
Extract from CHAPTER XXIX, BUDDHA AND CHRIST JESUS COMPARED; “BIBLE MYTHS AND THEIR PARALLELS IN OTHER RELIGIONS” By T. W. DOANE,  1882. Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Lisa Reigel, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/31885/31885-h/31885-h.htm#Page_36